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Foothill residents prepare for incoming storm

December 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The people in the burn areas made it through last week's record rainfall with relatively few problems. But now they're bracing for a new storm, and a new challenge to flood control efforts.

The K-rails are nailed down in place. The county has done everything to prepare for the next rainfall.

Since 7 a.m. Tuesday trucks have been loading up and moving out the sediment in the Mullally Debris Basin. The runoff from last week's rain left 3,500 cubic yards of sediment in the basin, reaching 20 percent capacity. County Public Works crews are hoping to have about a third of the debris removed before the rains come.

"The best thing we can do is to get the debris basin empty which is what you see the operations doing and so things are looking pretty good," said Arthur Vander Vis, L.A. County Public Works.

The clear skies will soon turn cloudy with rain in the forecast.

The Public Works crew plan on having most of the sediment out by Thursday, rain or shine.

"This is going to be a small storm. We're not expecting, even if some debris does come down, it's very similar to that Christmas day storm so we're not expecting too much debris to come in but it's got a lot of capacity for the relatively small storm that's coming through," said Vander Vis.

The sediment that's being taken out of the debris basin here is being taken to a county facility nearby where is just packed down and stored away.

Several key roads are already closed as a result of the damage from last week's record storms and more could shutter as the new storm moves in.

The most dramatic example of the storm-related damage can be found in San Bernadino County.

State Route 330, a popular choice into Big Bear, will likely remain closed all winter after a huge section of asphalt was washed away during last week's heavy rains.

But in Orange County, State Route 133 was reopened this afternoon.

Crews worked for several days to clear the mud and debris that washed over Laguna Canyon Road after last week's storm.


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