Bad Weather Prompts Evacuations

What a difference a day makes. Following weeks of sunshine, heavy rain, wind, and falling snow levels are creating nightmares for local authorities and residents.

City officials issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday for nine homes in the Big Tujunga Canyon and Haines Canyon areas due to possible flooding or mudslides from the storm rolling through the region.

Los Angeles police were to go door-to-door notifying the affected residents. Residents of 13 other homes will be advised to be prepared to evacuate should conditions warrant, according to the city Emergency Management Department.

Evacuated residents could return to their homes tomorrow morning, if weather conditions permit.

The city established an evacuation center for residents and smell pets at the Sunland Tujunga Recreation Center, 8651 Foothill Blvd.

An evacuation center for large animals has been established at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills.

Several severe weather warnings were issued for the Los Angeles area including flood watches and heavy surf along the beaches, heavy snow in the Cajon and Grapevine areas, flash flooding in areas effected by recent fires, and high wind warnings through out the Southland,  according to the National Weather Service.

Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, told the LA Times the summer’s Station Fire has turned what should be a good thing -- much needed rains -- into something ominous.

“We’d be celebrating right now if it hadn’t been for the Station Fire,” he told the Times. “It really denuded the hillsides from Arroyo Seco to Big Tujunga, so the people in those neighborhoods are really on pins and needles.” 

Across the Southland, the wet weather has kept police and fire departments busy. CHP officers have responded to three times as many crashes than normal during the morning commute, the Times reported.

Rains are expected to diminish by Tuesday but another storm may arrive Thursday bringing more rain.

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