Pacific Ocean

Series of Storms Could Cause Flooding, Debris Flow Across the Southland

The strongest storms will arrive mid-week

Residents across the Southland are being advised to prepare for a series of storms expected to strike this week, bringing rain, snow, and potential flooding beginning Sunday night.

The first storm system is expected to bring between a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain and 2 to 4 inches of snow in elevations above 6,000 feet. A much stronger storm will land on Tuesday, with 1 to 2 inches of rain in the Coastal and Valley areas and 2 to 4 inches possible in the foothills and mountains.

"We are lining up the storms," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger.

Light rain was reported in some parts of Los Angeles Monday morning.

Mayor Eric Garcetti held a news conference Sunday evening to urge residents to be prepared for the El Niño-related downpour.

Tuesday's storm is expected to bring highest risk of flash flooding and debris flow from recent burn areas, the NWS said. Several cities across the Southland were equipping residents with sandbags in anticipation of the looming storms. Commuters were also being advised to prepare for possible roadway flooding.

The rain is expected to continue Wednesday through Friday with the potential for brief and heavy downpours and colder temperatures. Snow levels could fall as low as 4,000 feet, and could impact the local mountains, including the 5 Freeway near the Grapevine, officials said.

Coastal areas can expect high surf throughout much of next week and possible flooding, especially during the middle of the week when a large swell arrives, according to the NWS.

Ventura Pier was shut down after high surf pounded the iconic landmark last month, leaving wooden posts left dangling after massive waves hammered portions of support beams.

A popular corridor along the scenic coast highway was still recovering from the Solimar fire that swept through the community a week and a half before.

New concrete barriers part of storm preparation were installed just below the steep scorched terrain to prevent slides that may come after the rain.

In Huntington Beach, residents were preparing not only for elements on land, but in the surf. 

Sandbag stations were set up for residents to help them prepare for the possibility of high tides flooding homes.

Huntington Beach lifeguards also said flooding wasn't the only concern.

"The water quality degrades because of runoff there. There is increased bacteria in the runoff," Lt Michael Beuerluin of marine safety said.

Lifeguards were cautioning swimmers to stay out of the water during the storm and for 72 hours after.

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