LOS ANGELES – El Niño storm brought heavy downpours in Southern California on Tuesday, leading to the closure of some roads. Flooding was reported on the 101 Freeway located between Ventura and Santa Barbara, among other roadways.
Stones fell onto the roadway on Malibu Canyon at Pacific Coast Highway, causing damage to four vehicles, according to CHP information officer Siara Lund. No one resulted injured.
“The storm today was moving in very quickly; tomorrow looks to be sort of the same deal as today,” told NWS meteorologist Emily Thornton, as reported by Los Angeles Times. “The bigger story is that it’ll be over a longer period of time.”
In the late morning hours on Wednesday, there could be some rain as strong as Tuesday’s system and it is expected to persist, said Thornton. According to the NWS, the rain is forecast to come to an end by Friday, but another storm is expected to hit Los Angeles Saturday night, whereas some rain could resume by Monday. Those areas that have been recently burned could be at risk for flash floods and the NWS urges residents to take steps in order to protect their families and properties.
During these periods, peak rainfall rates are likely to exceed one-half inch every hour and could potentially cause flash flooding and mud, as well as debris flows both in and nearby recently burned areas.
City officials have been putting sandbags and offering up shelters. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti declared on Tuesday morning that the city had been preparing for months to face the storm, which has left nearly 1,000 power customers without electricity.
He also said that the heavy rain was a danger to drivers on the freeways and a threat to homeless encampments established along the Los Angeles River. According to Garcetti, workers had been trying to get people to come in the shelters, but many had refused help and were still in flood-prone areas.
Los Angeles County officials pointed out they were having a hard time at securing funds for flood control and the removal of debris from the river. The Army Corps of Engineers have not received the $4.5 million required to maintain the river basin.
Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl said in a statement that it will not be possible to provide significant levels of flood protection in that portion of Los Angeles River without the required maintenance.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services reported that some residents in the Camarillo Springs area carried out a voluntary evacuation, given the risk of mud and debris flows. Another voluntary evacuation was in effect in Silverado Canyon.
Source: Los Angeles Times