Evacuations, Water Rescues, Traffic: Election Day Storm Drenches SoCal

Tuesday is the wettest day of the three-day storm soaking Southern California.

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Southern Californians woke up to stormy conditions on Tuesday as they headed to the polls, with the wettest day of a three-day storm impacting everything from traffic to voter turnout.

Widespread showers and downpours led to flooding on streets and freeways, including the 5 Freeway in the northern San Fernando Valley. Part of the freeway turned into a pond Tuesday evening, forcing drivers into one northbound lane.

A flash flood warning was issued for parts of Los Angeles County. The warning included the Duarte area and nearby San Gabriel Mountain foothills.

The rainfall first arrived after midnight on Sunday heading into Monday, with many areas of Los Angeles and Orange County already seeing significant rainfall on Monday morning.

The much-needed rain showed no signs of slowing down on Election Day.

Here's what to know about the storm's timing, where evacuation orders are in place and other things to keep in mind during the rainy weather.


Tuesday morning saw chilly temperatures in the 50s and some gloomy-looking skies over downtown Los Angeles.

The chilly weather was set to continue across the region, with highs barely reaching the 60s across SoCal and accompanied by gusty winds in the afternoon.

The rain is set to fall heavily in some regions, with up to 5" of water expected in the mountains. The heavy rain could cause flooding, especially over recent burn scars.

The San Fernando Valley saw a break in the rainfall around 6 a.m., while Santa Clarita, Compton, Long Beach and the Inland Empire saw a deluge.

The storm was set to continue moving east, with most of LA County and the coasts catching a break until noon.

At that point, a second band of heavier rain will move in from Ventura County, eventually soaking LA and Orange Counties and the Inland Empire.

Temperatures are chilly, the roads are soggy, and there are gusty winds and flood watches in place around the region. Belen De Leon has the forecst for Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

By 6 p.m., the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County will get a break, but drivers in Orange County and the Inland Empire should exercise caution on the evening commute, when roads will be slippery.

Scattered showers will continue through until about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, when the region will start to dry out.

Above 6,000 feet, the region could see between 6" and 12" of snow. Up to 2 feet of snow could fall in a few locations.

A high wind watch is in place for the deserts, and a wind advisory has been issued for the mountains. The winds began Tuesday morning and will continue into the evening.

Winds could reach between 25 and 35 mph, with gusts possibly reaching 60 to 70 mph. Drivers should be careful, especially as the winds mix with the rain and snow.

A winter storm watch began Monday night, and will into Wednesday night, with colder temperatures lowering the snow level to about 4,000 feet on Tuesday night. Icy conditions are possible.

By Thursday, the weather will clear up, though temperatures will remain colder.

Evacuation Orders

Residents along Melcanyon Road in Duarte are watching the skies and the hillsides bracing for rain and potential mudslides. Sheriff's deputies went door to door Monday alerting residents of the mandatory evacuation orders. Darsha Philips reports for the NBC4 News on Nov. 7, 2022.

Residents of Duarte near the Fish Fire burn scar area were ordered to evacuate on Monday night, with Sheriff's deputies knocking on doors to tell residents they had to vacate the area or sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of staying behind.

Melcanyon Road was shut down to traffic Monday night, with the city taking the risks of floods and mudslides very seriously.

Significant debris flow is expected to come off the hillside that burned in June, which could impact roadways. If that is the case, people who chose to stay behind could be trapped in their homes, and emergency services could be delayed in getting to them if a problem arises.

Valley View Elementary School in Duarte made the decision to close Tuesday late on Monday afternoon.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, a mandatory evacuation order was put in place for Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon and Modjeska -- all parts of the Bond Fire burn scar -- due to the possibility of debris flows there.

A flash flood warning was in place in the burn scar area from 4 a.m.Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday.

"Hard road closures will be in effect at 9 a.m. and access in and out of the Canyons will be restricted to public safety and public works vehicles." Orange County said in a written statement about the evacuations.

An evacuation shelter for Bond Fire burn scar evacuees is in place "from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at the Norman P. Murray Community & Senior Center in the Juniper Room in Mission Viejo. The center is located at 24932 Veteran’s Way, Mission Viejo 92692."

The Community and Senior Center is also a vote center, for residents who cannot make it to the polls after being evacuated.

Dogs, cats and other small pets can be sheltered at OC Animal Care at 1630 Victory Road Tustin, CA 92782.


It's a good idea to give yourself lots of time before you head out the door on Tuesday. Michelle Valles reports for Today in LA on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

The Tuesday morning commute was soggy and slick all morning long, making it a good day to give extra time for travel and to pick and choose activities carefully.

There were three accidents on the 210 Freeway within about 3 minutes, according to NBC4 reporter Michelle Valles, who was chasing the storm Tuesday morning. The accidents occurred on the eastbound and westbound sides of the freeway going toward Rialto.

Other accidents took place on the 16 and 605 freeways.

At least two cars were seen floating in the LA River around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, prompting a water rescue response from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

In Ontario, around noon, three people were rescued from a river wash and three others remained unaccounted for as authorities continued to search. It was not immediately clear why the six people were in the flood control channels there.

Election Impacts

Experts say that rainy weather could cause problems when it comes to voter turnout.

Inspired voters will vote no matter what, but the wet weather could keep some people on the fence of voting from participating in the election, according to Mindy Romero, director of USC's Center for Inclusive Democracy.

That might apply to people who aren't enthusiastic about a particular candidate and feel like they might be voting for the “lesser of two not great candidates,” Romero explains. “Then it's not going to be necessarily a big negative for you not to participate.”  

And the voters who did show up to the vote center at The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre were surprised by a power outage there.

The LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk said in a tweet that a generator and a pop-up Vote Center team would be deployed to the area.

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