Inland communities preparing for another wave of wet weather

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Sandbags are piling up, swift water crews are standing by and dozens of people remain under evacuation orders as yet another storm hits already saturated Inland communities.

Forecasters expect the fast-moving storm to dump about a third of an inch of rain on the Inland valley. That could be enough to trigger mudslides and push already swollen creeks and rivers over their banks.

The foothill community of Highland, north of San Bernardino, took the brunt of last week’s round of storms. Muddy water still swamps about 30 homes in one neighborhood. Their occupants have evacuated. Authorities consider another five homes a total loss.

County crews are clearing storm drains, stacking sandbags and installing K-rails to divert possible mud and debris flows. Highland has already racked up about $17 million in damage and clean-up costs.

The rain could also delay repair work on storm-damaged roadways across the region. Many streets, river overpasses and mountain highways remain closed.