LOS ANGELES (AP) — After days of relentless rain, Southern California was bracing for the most intense storm system yet, with evacuations ordered, roads covered by water and mud, and residents anxiously eyeing already saturated mountainsides denuded by wildfires.
A monster storm is expected to bring torrential rain, thunderstorms, flooding, hail and possible tornadoes and water spouts. Officials warned of possible rainfall rates of 0.75 to one inch an hour and thunderstorm rates of two inches an hour in the region.
“It’s going to be a three-ring circus,” said National Weather Service spokesman Bill Hoffer. “There’s going to be a six-hour time frame in the early morning when it’s really going to be dumping on us.”
A rain-soaked hillside collapsed on part of a busy Interstate 10 transition road Wednesday as overwhelmed drains left hubcap-deep pools of water on roadways littered with fender-bender crashes. The landslide covered three lanes of the transition to State Route 57 in the Pomona area, and the California Highway Patrol shut down part of the ramp before the morning rush hour.
In Orange County, rain-loosened boulders and mud blocked access to mountain homes in Silverado Canyon near the Cleveland National Forest, and firefighters were helping residents walk out of the area. Downtown Laguna Beach was closed as up to a half foot of storm runoff flooded the streets, and mudslides were reported in the San Clemente hills.
Officials on Tuesday ordered evacuation of 232 homes in La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta, suburbs of Los Angeles below steep hillsides that burned in 2009 and where mudslides inundated homes and backyards in February.
Amtrak also canceled passenger rail service from Los Angeles to San Diego due to rising flood waters.
The following is a list of other closures throughout the Southland:
– The California Incline in Santa Monica
– Santiago Canyon closed at Black Star and Crookside Corner
– Route 74 closed at Orange County line
– Northbound/southbound Avenue D closed @ 150th St.
– Highway 18 closed at Evergreen Rd and Sheep Creek Road (Use Highway 138)
– Highway 2 closed at Vincent Gap and Islip Saddle
– Route 133 closed from Route 73 to Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach
– Broadway and nearby streets closed in downtown Laguna Beach
– Route 241 closed due to mud flowing across all northbound lanes at the Route 133, north of Irvine
– Brea Boulevard closed at Tonner Canyon Road, north of Fullerton
– PCH closed south of Newport Beach at El Moro School due to rockslide
– Big Tujunga Road closed
– Angeles Crest Highway closed
Antelope Valley Closures:
– Avenue I from 90th Street East to 140th Street East
– Avenue J from 90th Street East to 140th Street East
– Avenue K from 90th Street East to 140th Street East
– Avenue N from 50th Street East to 7th Street East
– Avenue Q from 145th Street East to 180th Street East
– Avenue O from 105th Street East to 150th Street East
– Avenue S from Longview Street to 165th Street East
– Avenue T from Longview Road to 165th Street East
– Big Rock Creek Road from Valyermo Road
– Fort Tejon Road from 235th Street East to Antelope Highway
– Palmdale Boulevard from 150th Street East to Longview Road
– 40th Street East from Avenue P to Avenue N
– 70th Street East from Palmdale Boulevard Boulevard to Avenue N
– 120th Street East from Avenue H to Avenue I
– 145th Street East from Avenue Q to Avenue O
– 150th Street East from Avenue M to Avenue M-12