Crews Clean Up After Weekend Storms

Road crews were busy Sunday cleaning up after Saturday's unusual rain and thunderstorms caused several rock and mudslides.
Debris still coated some Antelope Valley roads, and a rockslide briefly blocked Angeles Crest Highway west of Wrightwood, the California Highway Patrol reported Sunday.

Traffic did grind to a halt on the southbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway at Plamdale at the height of Saturday afternoon's storm, at about 2 p.m. Motorists were reported by the CHP to be waiting for rain and hail to let up, and visibility to increase from near zero.

At one point, boulders in both lanes blocked the Angeles Crest Highway and road crews were sent to remove them. The road was reopened by 9 a.m.

"There was substantial damage to fences, outbuildings and sheds,'' said Bob Spencer, a spokesman for the L.A. County Department of Public Works, today. "I saw some vehicles that were completely buried in mud, including some 4-wheelers.''

Some streets in Lake Los Angeles, 20 miles east of Palmdale, were covered with thousands of cubic yards of material washed out of the San Gabriel Mountains, 10 miles to the south, during Saturday's flash flooding. Some of it may have originated on slopes that were burned in the 2009 Station Fire.

Underpasses were flooded at Barrel Springs Road at the 14 Freeway in Palmdale, at the Sierra Highway interchange near Acton, and at the Soledad Canyon road interchange at Acton, the CHP said. At least one car was flooded at a ramp at Soledad Canyon Road.

The National Weather Service said there was a risk of additional flash flooding Sunday afternoon as slow moving thunderstorms moved through the interior valleys of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, the Antelope Valley, and mountain areas.   

Meanwhile, fire officials said Saturday's lightning is to blame for more than 50 wildfires that have burned over 15,000 acres throughout Kern County.

Residents in the communities of Keene, Hart Flat, Bear Valley, Golden Hills and Stallion Springs are being told that evacuations may be recommended. Several roads were closed but authorities were allowing residents in.

Over 1300 personal were assigned to the various locations but officials said most fires were at zero percent containment as of Sunday afternoon.

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