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Burn areas hit with rain but no debris flow

December 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Residents living near the Station Fire burn areas are dealing with yet another round of rain, but they've managed to avoid any major problems Wednesday.

The rain fell at a steady clip through the morning hours but mostly cleared up by midday. This gave crews a chance to continue hauling away remaining sediment from the Mullally Basin.

The waning rain was great news to residents who are ready for the hillsides to finally dry out.

"I've been evacuated four times since the fire because once for the fire and three times because of rain. So we're preparing for it," said La Crescenta resident George Giaimo.

On the heels of last week's storm, residents are hoping that the soaked hillsides can tolerate this last storm of the year.

Homeowners near the burn areas are giving credit to the way the county has kept them safe and informed.

"They send SMS every time debris and mudflow is forecasted, so L.A. County does a real good job of that," said Giaimo.

From phone messages to door-to-door alerts, residents say county officials have done a great job taking care of them and they're feeling fairly confident about the favorable conditions holding up.

The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Los Angeles County at 5 a.m. Wednesday. According to the NWS, the heaviest rain was falling across the San Gabriel Valley and the foothills below the Station Fire burn area.

According to morning measurements, Pasadena saw .83 inches of rain, Claremont saw .79 inches, Beverly Hills saw .64 inches, Woodland Hills saw.46 inches and Simi Valley saw .38 inches.

The county has done everything it could to prepare for the rain, and residents hope the effort pays off as the saturated hillsides may give way at any point.

Wednesday's rain system was expected to be a fast-moving storm, relative to the wet weather that hit the Southland last week.

Residents hope all of their preparations can help them dodge any possible debris slide activity.

"They have been on top of it. They've been awesome. They're there during the rainstorms constantly watching to see if things are starting to flow in," said La Crescenta resident Olivia Brown. "They try to control what they can. They're not going to put their lives in danger but at least they're there to sound the first alarm if something happens."

Last week's record-breaking rain filled about 20 percent of the Mullally Basin. Most of that has been removed, and Public Works crews plan to take out the remaining sediment by Thursday, rain or shine.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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