Rain Pelts The Southland, Burn Areas Brace For The Worst

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  —   The first big rain storm hit the Southland Thursday and meteorologists don’t think there will be any let up for at least the next 24 hours.

DWP officials urged customers to turn off their sprinkler and irrigation systems immediately, and leave them off for at least one week.

Meanwhile, several areas affected by fire and drought have braced for the possibility of mudslides. In many areas, residents filled sand bags and utilized K-rails.

According to the National Weather Service, the rain began Thursday morning across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

It quickly spread to Ventura and Los Angeles counties in the afternoon and early evening.

Weather experts expect the majority of the storm to leave L.A. County by Friday morning.

The storm was the biggest for the rainy season so far, which runs from October to May.

Rainfall totals will range between a half-inch and 1.5 inches in coastal and valley areas, and between 1 and 3 inches in the foothills.

By 9 p.m., KCAL9 Meteorologist Evelyn Taft said many areas exceeded expectations with “impressive” totals. These included .25 in Whittier, .25 in Santa Monica and .63 in the Channel Islands.

Click here to hear more from Evelyn about what’s ahead.

A flash flood watch was in effect through Friday morning in the burn areas of Los Angeles County.

KCAL9’s Tom Wait spoke to residents in Camarillo who were concerned about mudslides. In one area, several homes remain red-tagged from rain-related mudslides from 2014.

The same could be said of the Lytle Creek area where CBS2’s Tina Patel said residents were putting a lot of faith in sandbags.

Sky2 and Sky 9 were overhead in places like Pacoima where traffic-related accidents were causing a big traffic nightmare near the Newhall Pass.

Heavy rain in Hollywood did not keep people from waiting on long lines to see the group Metallica. KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper said many fans improvised by making rain gear out of garbage bags.

Sky9’s Stu Mundel shows you why you should avoid the northbound 405 in the Van Nuys area — if you can help it.

KCAL9’s Rachel Kim spoke to folks in Santa Clarita where the rain wasn’t heavy but consistent. She found people who wouldn’t let the precipitation keep them from their appointed rounds.

Residents in Duarte sit and wait and hope K-rails will save their homes. KCAL9’s Peter Daut spoke to people ready to flee in a moment’s notice. Many told him they expected to have a sleepless night.

In Wrightwood they were dealing with slick roads and very windy conditions. KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz found motorists driving with an abundance of caution.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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