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Mandatory Glendora evacs due to be lifted; storm moves out

As the last of a storm moves into SoCal, Glendora residents are expected to return to their homes Sunday.
March 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities have lifted mandatory evacuations for Monrovia residents in the Madison Fire areas as the last of a winter storm moves. Glendora residents are expected to return to their homes Sunday.

Officials said by 6 a.m. Sunday, they expect to allow evacuated residents in Glendora to return home. Next door in Azusa, there is no word on when residents will be allowed to return to their homes. Highway 39 remains closed at Mountain Cove. The city says they'll work overnight to assess safety conditions before they lift the evacuation orders.

Monrovia residents were put under advisory evacuations Saturday night. Only residents living on Highland Place are allowed to access that street, authorities said.

Light rain fell in Glendora Saturday evening, as the last of the storm system moved into region. Earlier in the day, a sudden flash flood sent mud raging down Hicrest Road, forcing our news crew to scramble out of the way of the debris flow.

All day crews have been clearing the muddy runoff from hillside streets all across the foothills. So far no major damage reported, but every time the rain starts, anxious residents wonder if the saturated hillsides will let go.

At Gary McCoy's house, crews dig out as much as they can after a fast moving mix of dirt and ash roared down the fire charred hillsides.

"You heard the noise but I stood here and I actually saw a wave of water, like at the beach, come over the telephone poles I have up on the hill," said McCoy.

The dangerous runoff damaged part of his garage, and as the rain continues to fall, the threat of even more damage continues to grow.

It goes to show just how unpredictable mudslides can be - even without constant rainfall. That's exactly the reason why Glendora and Azusa issued the mandatory evacuation order at noon Thursday. The orders were issued ahead of the stronger storm system that moved into the Southland late Thursday night.

Mud, rocks and debris started streaming down streets as the rain intensified Friday morning.

The Colby Fire burned nearly 2,000 acres, destroyed five homes and damaged 17 other homes on Jan. 16. The burn impact area includes homes north of Sierra Madre between the western city boundaries of Azusa and Glendora to the eastern boundary of homes on the west side of the Little Dalton Wash, near Loraine Avenue.

"These areas have the highest risk of being impacted by flooding/debris flows from rainfall due to the loss of vegetation from the foothills," the city of Glendora said in a statement.

Crews lined the streets with 10,000 feet of K-rails ahead of the storm. The city moved in heavy equipment to keep drains clear.

Meantime, lifeguards in Seal Beach are closely watching conditions. Authorities said 6 to 8-foot high tide hit before 10 a.m. Saturday. Fortunately, the big surf -- 12 to 14 feet -- did not show up at the same time.

Azusa police on Friday ordered everyone on Ridge View Drive to evacuate their homes immediately due to the mud flow. A news photographer ended up trapped in the mud as he was trying to capture the scene. Crews and co-workers rushed to dig him out.

There are no evacuations for the Mountain Cove community, but residents were urged to take precautionary measures.

Monrovia issued a mandatory evacuation order Friday morning for burn areas from last year's Madison Fire. The evacuation includes the following areas: Highland Place north of Hillcrest Boulevard, Scenic Drive, Lotone, Heather Heights north of Scenic Drive, Avocado Place, 600 block of Hillcrest Boulevard, and 900 block of Crescent Drive.

According to the city of Monrovia's website, an evacuation was expected to be set up at the Monrovia Community Center at 119 W Palm Ave. Pets can be taken to Wonder Dog Ranch at 220 Taylor St.

There were many residents who chose to stay despite the evacuation order.

"It's a little scary, but we want to stay. It's hard to move with three dogs," said Yvonne Bobadilla of Glendora.

Those who decide not to leave will be asked to sign a form acknowledging that they are aware of the risk and assume liability for staying in their homes.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Crowther Center at 241 W. Dawson Avenue in Glendora.

St. Lucy's Priory High School and Goddard Middle School in Glendora are closed due to the storm. Sierra Madre Avenue in Glendora was closed to eastbound traffic between McNeil Drive and Barranca Avenue due to significant flooding.

Other areas in Los Angeles County are also being affected by mudslides. Mandatory evacuations were ordered at about 8:40 p.m. Friday south of Lake Hughes and Deeswood roads in the Lake Hughes area; 13 homes were at risk.

Several road closures were in effect Saturday in Southern California:

- Cold Canyon Road and Wonderview Drive to Mulholland Highway in Calabasas is closed due to a broken water line

- Point Dume Beach parking lot in Malibu closed due to tidal flooding on Westward Road access way

- Rainbow Drive at Sierra Madre Avenue in Glendora is closed due to storm conditions

- Lake Hughes Road between Elizabeth Lake Road and Dry Gulch Road remains closed in Lake Hughes

Meantime, lifeguards in Seal Beach are closely watching conditions. Authorities say 6 to 8-foot high tide hit before 10 a.m. Saturday. Fortunately, the big surf - 12 to 14 feet - did not show up at the same time. No propery has been damaged. The surf is expected to die out Sunday afternoon.


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