What to Know
- Rain raises fears of mudslides, minor debris flows and flooding over areas of LA, Orange County, Riverside County and Ventura County.
- LA County Fire and LA Sheriff's Departments deployed staffing into the burn area in light of the threat of potential flooding.
- The heaviest rain is expected Thursday and it will bring at least six inches of snow in some areas.
A storm system out of the Gulf of Alaska is ushering in a powerful one-two punch of heavy rain to Southern California Thursday, leading to flash flood warnings, at least one river rescue and traffic tie-ups across the region.
The storm began moving across California's Central Coast Wednesday afternoon and into Ventura County. A flash flood warning was issued Thursday morning for communities near the Holy Fire burn area in Orange and Riverside counties. Residents under evacuation orders were asked to leave immediately.
After a short break late Thursday morning into early afternoon, another round of heavy rain will show up for the ride home from work on Thursday. The heaviest rain is expected Thursday evening into the night with low chance of getting lightning, but the rain will bring at least six inches of snow in areas like Big Bear.
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A flash flood watch went into effect Thursday for the Valley and Holy and Cranston Fire burn scars. Rain also drenched the sites of the Woolsey Fire in LA and Ventura County, where a flash flood advisory was issued early Thursday, the Hill Fire in Ventura County and the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December 2017.
The morning rain tied up traffic, which came to a standstill when a big rig crash shut down part of the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley. In Eagle Rock, a big rig crashed over the side of the 134 Freeway, blocking traffic for hours.
In Atwater Village, rising water of the LA River left a man trapped and clinging to a tree branch. A LAFD helicopter rescue crew hoisted the man to safety. He was hospitalized, but details about his condition were not immediately available.
It was not clear why the 55-year-old man was in the water.
Ahead of the storm, residents were making preparations in Malibu, much of which was devastated by the Woolsey Fire this month.
"All Malibu residents are urged to prepare for potential flooding, mudslides, power outages and evacuations," the city said in a statement Tuesday.
The Los Angeles County fire and sheriff's departments both deployed additional staffing into the burn area in light of the threat of potentially damaging flooding. Officials with both agencies stressed the need for residents to adhere to evacuation orders, if they are implemented.
"Evacuation orders should not be taken lightly and are ordered because there is a threat to life and property," according to a joint statement from the agencies.
Most areas should see between a half-inch and two inches of rain, although three inches could fall at higher elevations and foothills.
A flash flood watch will be in effect for the Santa Ana mountains and foothills and inland Orange County throughout the day Thursday and into early Friday morning.
All of the rain is out of sight by Friday morning, but could be back with showers on Saturday.