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Burn area residents brace for winter storm

December 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Many residents in the Southern California burn areas are bracing for mud and rockslides that may come due to storms that are about to hit the area.Homes in La Crescenta are surrounded by k-rails, sandbags and plywood hoping to protect homes from any damage that the storms may bring.

La Crescenta resident Sharon Olsen isn't taking any chances and has barricaded her backyard as best she could.

"I thought my greatest fear was fire, and I was so glad when I survived the fire," Olsen said. "Now my greatest fear is not having a house.

Olsen's La Crescenta home sits below street level on a turn and is in the direct line of the muddy runoff that is expected to come pouring off the charred hillsides.

Concrete barriers and sandbags are the first line of defense, but as many residents have learned, it doesn't take much to move the mud and debris.

"It was coming down so fast and there was a bunch of debris," La Crescenta resident LeeAnn Pattee said. "The water was actually pushing stuff over my car, water was going over my car."

The Station Fire burned through thousands of acres in the San Gabriel Mountains, and even though the flames are out, the series of storms that are expected to move through the area may cause more damage with runoffs and slides.

"We're a little bit nervous," La Crescenta resident Delmas Pattee said. "We've been out here for the past three days putting up the boarding and putting up the sandbags."

If last month's light rain was any indication, a heavy downpour could be very dangerous for residents in the burn areas.


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