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Southland floods prompt evacuations

July 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Flooding has prompted evacuations near Lake Isabella in the southern end of the Sequoia National Forest. Kern County officials recommended the evacuations Sunday night after heavy rainfall flooded parts of Erskine Creek Canyon. Fire spokesman Jim Whittington says he does not know how many people live in the area. He says the water is at least 2 feet deep in the canyon and could get worse. Officials expect water, mud and rocks from a rain-swollen creek to cross one of Lake Isabella's main thoroughfares. They also warned of possible flash floods on Kelso Valley Road and Thompson Creek east of the lake. Firefighters have been battling a wildfire in the Sequoia National Forest south of Lake Isabella for the past three weeks. Whittington says at least 2 inches of rain fell on the fire, which contributed to the flooding by burning vegetation that would normally absorb some of the water.

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