Latest storm prompts evacuations for Station Fire burn areas

Residents walk past barriers setup to divert floodwaters as heavy rain raises the possibility of flooding and landslides due to the denuded hillside vegetation from the recent Station Fire in the La Canada Flintridge area of Los Angeles. File photo.
Residents walk past barriers setup to divert floodwaters as heavy rain raises the possibility of flooding and landslides due to the denuded hillside vegetation from the recent Station Fire in the La Canada Flintridge area of Los Angeles. File photo. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A storm that reached the Southland tonight prompted Los Angeles County officials to close roads in the Station Fire burn areas and call for the evacuation of about 200 homes.

"We're still going with a quarter- to half-inch across most areas, and up to an inch in the foothills and mountains below snow lever,'' said Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Meier.

As of late Friday night the NWS had not issued a flash flood warning

By 9 p.m. light rain had been reported in La Canada Flintridge, Santa Monica and at Los Angeles International Airport.

In anticipation of the storm, residents of nearly 200 homes in La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge were told to evacuate, Lt. Robert Blume of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station said earlier.

Blume said 42 homes in La Crescenta and 146 in La Canada Flintridge were ordered to be evacuated because they are threatened by mud slides and debris flows streaming down slopes stripped bare during last year's Station fire.

"Of the 189 homes ordered evacuated, 95 refused, so we had about a 50 percent compliance rate,'' said Nicole Nishida, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

An evacuation site has been set up at La Canada Presbyterian Church at 626 Foothill Blvd. in La Canada Flintridge.

Meantime, all Los Angeles County roads in the Station fire burn area were closed, including Angeles Forest Highway, Big Tujunga Canyon Road and Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, said Bob Spencer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

The roads should reopen after the threat of rain has passed and safety inspections of the roadways have been completed, Spencer said.

Mulholland Drive was closed in both directions between Bowmont Drive and Skyline Drive as officials believe impending weather conditions could "further undermine the roadway,'' said Bruce Gillman of the Department of Public Works.

The National Weather Service had not issued flood warnings for the area, Meier said.

"Currently, the storm is tracking (in such a way) that appears the heavier rainfall will skirt the burn area,'' Meier said.

The storm is expected to bring rain, snow, high winds and a slight chance of thunderstorms through Saturday morning, with another system arriving Sunday.

The snow level associated with tonight's storm will start at around 6,000 feet but drop to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet through Saturday morning, possibly affecting traffic on Interstate 5 in the area of the Grapevine, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow accumulation through Saturday is generally expected to range between 4 and 8 inches above 6,000 feet, National Weather Service forecasters said, but up to 12 inches is possible in parts of the the San Gabriels.

Another storm system is expected late Sunday, ushering in a period of rain expected to last at least through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures will slip slightly Saturday and Sunday before a warming trend gets under way Monday, producing by Thursday temperature highs that will be 5-7 degrees higher than today, according to a National Weather Service extended forecast.

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