LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The second day of a two-day Southern California storm brought wet roads, scattered flooding and fears of mud flows to the Los Angeles area, but no reports of major damage as late Tuesday morning, this as at least 13 people were killed in mudslides in the the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito.
Evacuation orders that had been in place in the Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon areas near the recent Creek Fire burn area were lifted at 10 a.m. The city of Duarte also lifted evacuation orders that had been in place for about 180 homes near the Fish Fire area, but classes remained canceled for the day at Valley View Elementary School.
Voluntary evacuation orders were still in place in Burbank, which upgraded to a mandatory evacuation order for all of Country Club Drive due to the risk of mudflows for the La Tuna Fire area. An evacuation center was established at McCambridge Recreation Center, 1515 Glenoaks Blvd.
The rain, however, appeared to be tapering off by late morning, with the sun breaking through the clouds. But the damage had already been done in many areas.
At Los Angeles International Airport, flooding forced the closure of the customs area in Terminal 2. Arriving international passengers were being bused to the Tom Bradley International Terminal for processing.
Mud slid down a hillside in the Sun Valley area and inundated part of La Tuna Canyon Road south of the 210 Freeway. A Los Angeles police patrol car wound up stuck in the muck, but no injuries were reported.
A big rig jack-knifed on the northbound 5 Freeway in the Los Feliz area around 3:50 a.m., leaving one man dead. The entire northbound freeway was closed for hours, further frustrating commuters already struggling with the soggy drive. Later in the morning, a big rig fell from an overpass onto the northbound 5 Freeway at the 118 Freeway, causing another closure.
Officials haven’t confirmed that the crashes were the result of the storm, but the trucks were traveling on rain-soaked roads.
Forecasters warned that while the rain had appeared to subside by late morning, more “showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected through this evening with periods of very heavy rain.”
A flash flood watch will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday across much of the Southland. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall rates of a half-inch to one-inch per hour were possible.
“Rainfall of this intensity can produce dangerous flash flooding,” according to the Weather Service. “Mud and debris flows near recent fires are of particular concern, especially the La Tuna, Creek, Sand and Fish burn areas.”
A wind advisory was allowed to expire at 7 a.m. in the Antelope Valley, but it will remain in effect until noon in most of the area, with winds ranging from 15 to 30 mph and gusting up to 45 mph. Gusts of up to 65 mph were possible in the Santa Monica Mountains, forecasters said.
The two-day storm came after a 10-month dry spell in the Southland following torrential rains in January and February of last year. In 2017, downtown Los Angeles experienced its driest March 1 through Dec. 31 since 1878, with only 0.69 of an inch of rainfall, according to the NWS.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced that winter shelters would stay open until 7 a.m. Wednesday because of the storm.
An offshore flow is forecast to return late Wednesday with warmer temperatures, dry air, low humidity and gusty winds through Sunday.
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