Storm Pounds SoCal

Hundreds of homes evacuated

A cold and "vigorous" storm moved into the Southland on Tuesday, prompting evacuations of hundreds of homes as heavy rains moved into burn areas and threatened to send more mud coursing down hillsides.

On Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff's department issued a reminder that evacuees' cars will be towed if they're parked in the streets. By Thursday morning, homeowners were waiting to learn when they could return home.

"We need all residents -- all car owners -- to move their cars in these specific flood-prone areas," said Steve Whitmore of the sheriff's department.

The automotive order was issued Monday evening, but by Tuesday afternoon, officials were being less gentle about it.

"And if they don't, they're going to be towed, and they're going to be towed at the owners' expense," said Whitmore.

Evacuated streets are listed online at

More than 500 homes below the Station Fire burn areas were under mandatory evacuation. Whitmore estimated that at least 60 percent of homes were complying with evacuation orders.

"When we tell you to get, get," he said.

At 4 p.m., Sierra Madre issued evacuation orders for dozens of homes in the path of potential mudslides. Roads were closed and evacuation orders issued for:

  • all streets above Churchill Road and Old Ranch Road
  • all streets above Woodland Drive and Sturtevant Drive
  • all streets above Lotus Lane at Camillio Street
  • the private sections of Auburn Avenue above Elm Street

Flash flooding and debris flows were possible Tuesday, in and below recent burn areas of Los Angeles County, according to the National Weather Service.

"Moderate'' debris and mudflows may completely block some streets and endanger some structures in La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Glendale, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Evacuation centers established by the American Red Cross will be open today at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 2411 Montrose Ave. in Montrose, and at Acton Community Center, 3748 Nichols St. in Acton, according to the county Department of Public Works.

The orders announced late Monday followed criticism leveled against local and federal officials since rains unleashed debris flows and flooding early Saturday, endangering some hillside residents in La Canada Flintridge. The intensity of that storm was unexpected, and it was not preceded by evacuation orders.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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