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LA Rain: Burn-area residents brace for more rain, possible floods

George Rodriguez, 69, a volunteer, loads sandbags at the Glendora City Yard.
George Rodriguez, 69, a volunteer, loads sandbags at the Glendora City Yard.
Jed Kim
George Rodriguez, 69, a volunteer, loads sandbags at the Glendora City Yard.
A homeowner in Easly Estates, reinforced property lines with sandbags in anticipation of heavy storms. Easly Canyon was burned in the Colby Fire in January.
Jed Kim
George Rodriguez, 69, a volunteer, loads sandbags at the Glendora City Yard.
Thousands of sandbags stand ready for residents at the Glendora City Yard.
Jed Kim


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5:42 p.m.: Burn area residents brace for for more rain, possible floods

Residents in and around Glendora are preparing for a powerful storm that's headed for Southern California Tuesday. It's expected to deliver heavy rainfall and snow to some areas, raising fears of more for flooding or mudslides, particularly for those living near recent wildfire burn areas — such as the one left earlier this year by the Colby Fire.

An earlier storm Sunday already led to the closure of a section of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. 

Ken Smith, 82, piled sandbags into his pickup truck bed Monday at the Glendora City Yard. He said he's going to use them to help protect three houses belonging to himself and his daughter. The family's property was damaged by the Colby Fire. 

“All the fire burned around us. We lost her motor home, three cars. Everything burned,” Smith said.

He said that previous rainfall had spared further damaging her house but that mud piled onto the path leading to the property.

Smith, a longtime resident of the mountains, said the sandbags provide protection from water and debris flow.

“This works great. It’s just heavy enough that it won’t move, so it holds the hillside up,” he said.

Below Easley Canyon, homeowners who had property damaged by mudflow just over a week prior, were taking steps to protect their houses from more runoff.

The microburst on November 21, 2013, dumped a quarter inch of rain on the area, leading to the mudflow. Art Ludwick, president of the homeowners’ association at Easley Estates said affected owners had been working for days in anticipation of the storm.

“Over the last week, they have been working frantically through the Thanksgiving weekend to get ready for this storm,” Ludwick said.

Ludwick said that the residents were feeling disheartened by continuing problem of heavy rainfall in their area.

“It’s just demoralizing, because nobody really knows what the answer is for the problem. The good Lord is going to bring us water when he brings us water, and unfortunately, the mud is going to be a result of it,” Ludwick said. “We need that rain in Southern California, but we do not need it in Easley Estates. We need drizzle here.”

8:11 a.m.: Mudslides close PCH

Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu could remain closed for days between Yerba Buena Road and Las Posas Road following a mudslide triggered by heavy rainfall Sunday night.

Part of PCH was covered in mud, rocks and debris from a former wildfire area, leaving about a dozen vehicles stranded on Sunday night, according to the Associated Press.

“We haven't had any heavy rains for quite a long time so this is unfortunately what happens. We do have k-rails in place and debris basins along the highway, but so much of the debris came down, it basically overtakes those debris basins and then the water flows with the debris over the k-rail,” Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler told KPCC.

PCH is likely to stay closed for a day or two and possibly more because of another round of rainfall expected Tuesday, Chandler said.

NBC4 reports that the western end of Malibu saw about 1.4 inches of rain Sunday, compared with much lighter but still steady rain in other Southern California cities:

Winnetka, at the west end of the San Fernando Valley, got .28 inches. Unofficial totals included just .06 in Santa Monica, and downtown LA was nearly dry.

Forecasters say 2 to 3 inches of rain could fall in Southern California Tuesday.

While PCH is closed, drivers will need to take an alternate route — either the 101 Freeway or canyon roads.

This story has been updated.