Southland Braces for Next Wet Winter Storm

State officials are bracing for a major winter storm that's expected to drop between one to four inches of rain over the weekend. That could wreak havoc wherever the recent wildfires burned away everything that grows. KPCC's Julie Small looks at how the state's lining up resources to deal with what might hit us soon.

Julie Small: Floods, mudslides, rivers of dirt and rocks and trees roaring down canyons. Frank McCarton with the state's Office of Emergency Services says we could see it all in the areas burned by wildfires.

Frank McCarton: Any type of rain in some of these areas that we have seen pose a great threat, and people that live in these areas should be aware of that threat.

Small: But the danger isn't limited to those areas. McCarton says everyone in Southern California should keep close track of the storm's progress.

McCarton: People should listen to radio and watch television for the latest weather reports and warnings, and be aware that the intense bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially for longer periods of time. People in the area that live near streams or channels, listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris such as trees crackling and boulders knocking together.

Small: The Office of Emergency Services has set up disaster centers in Sacramento and Los Alamitos. It's moved swift water rescue teams, boats, and California National Guard helicopters to Southern California. Cal Fire and Cal Trans are standing by. So is the California's Department of Social Services. It'll open shelters if the rains force major evacuations. And if evacuations are ordered, as they have in some of Orange County's canyons, Frank McCarton with the Office of Emergency Services says, get out now. He says it's more important to save yourself than your stuff.

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