DUARTE (CBSLA.com) – Homeowners in the Duarte burn area were finally getting a break Monday evening from the recent storms after mud flows shut down streets and forced evacuations.

“We’ve been here since 1961, Friday, last Friday was the worst we’ve ever seen,” homeowner Barbara Wirth said.

Evacuation orders that were issued over the weekend for about 180 homes in the June 2016 Fish Fire burn area were finally lifted Monday afternoon.

Vince and Barbara Wirth told KCAL9 they couldn’t get out of their house Friday because of the mud, rocks and debris raging down Melcanyon Road.

“Right out on the street, it was 3 inches deep straight across,” Vince Worth said. “The dip in our driveway was totally covered and the sidewalk was all mud.”

Then came Sunday’s storm. Up the street, Anna Armstrong and her husband Richard were also trapped in their home.

“You could just hear the rain pounding all day,” Armstrong said. “Almost without stop and you can hear the water. … We wouldn’t even try to walk out because the water was flowing too fast.”

On Monday morning there were more bursts of rain beneath the charred hillsides. Classes were canceled Monday at Valley View Elementary School. Mud and debris piled up behind K-rails. As soon as the clouds broke, the heavy equipment moved in. Cleanup operations took place on Melcanyon Road, from Brookridge Road to Royal Oaks Drive.

By Monday night, Anna was finally able to get some much needed groceries.

“We’re hoping to get back to normal now,” Armstrong said.

“February is supposed to be the rainiest month of the year so we may have a lot more coming yet,” Vince Wirth said.


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