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Mandatory foothill evacuations lifted as storm moves out

Glendora residents in the Colby Fire impact areas were allowed to return to their homes as the rain subsided Sunday.
March 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Evacuation orders for Glendora residents living in the Colby Fire impact areas were lifted Sunday morning. Many residents returned home as the rain subsided following days of heavy rain, thunderstorms and mudslides in the fire-scarred area.

Authorities lifted mandatory evacuations around 6 a.m., but the threat of mudslides and debris flows remains.

Sierra Madre Avenue in Glendora was also reopened to eastbound traffic between McNeil Drive and Barranca Avenue following significant flooding.

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.

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.

Residents surveyed the neighborhood damage Sunday morning. The rain that fell over the last few days sent muddy water, rocks and tree branches cascading down the streets.

Days of heavy rain caused small debris flows, but officials say so far K-rails and sandbags have worked. The burn areas have absorbed four days of stormy weather with very little runoff compared to what authorities had anticipated. Mud flowed into some yards, but the damage to homes was relatively minor.

Officials are continuing their risk assessment. While there are no major mudslides, authorities said residents should not be frustrated with the decision to air on the side of caution.

Evacuations ordered for foothill communities

Evacuation orders were lifted for the hillside residences on Ridge View Drive in Azusa around 11:45 a.m. Officials said one home in the area had been yellow-tagged. The home was damaged by the rain and mud flows submerging its backyard in at least a foot of mud.

Highway 39 was also reopened at Mountain Cove. Drivers were urged to travel with caution, as there may still be some lingering debris, mud or rocks.

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

Monrovia issued a mandatory evacuation order Friday morning for burn areas from last year's Madison Fire. The evacuation included 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.

Minor flooding in Long Beach after heavy rain

The storm also stirred up trouble along the coast. In Long Beach, a sand berm gave way at high tide flooding near Ocean Boulevard and 72nd Place around 9:30 p.m. The storm caused mild to moderate damage to 20 homes.

Residents raced to move their cars and stack up sandbags as streets filled up with water. The flooding subsided once the tide receded. Crews worked through the night to restore the berm. No evacuations were required.

Massive wave smashes restaurant window in Santa Barbara

A fierce wave also broke the windows of a restaurant on the Santa Barbara pier.

Big surf puts Orange County lifeguards on alert

Orange County took a pounding Saturday from rain, wind and thunderstorms, driving concerns about coastal flooding and dangerous waves.

There was immediate concern about surfers and swimmers due to the surf conditions with such big waves, expected to reach anywhere between eight and 14 feet. The surf was expected to die out Sunday afternoon.

Rain-slick roads cause problems for drivers across Southland

Numerous traffic accidents occurred on slick or flooded roads across California, including one about 60 miles east of Los Angeles involving a big rig whose driver died after falling from a 10 Freeway overpass.

Storm knocks out power to Southland residents

Heavy rains also caused problems in the Hollywood Hills Saturday night where a mud slide knocked over power lines. The incident occurred on the 2400 block of Vasanta Way. No homes were damaged, but residents weren't allowed to return to their homes.

As of Sunday morning, the area remained without power. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials were working to restore power in the neighborhood.

Utilities repaired numerous other scattered power outages.

Several closures were in effect Sunday in Southern California:

- Santa Anita Canyon Road, Bailey Canyon Park and Mount Wilson Trail remain in the Glendora area remain closed due to issues from the recent storm

-Cold Canyon Road remain closed in both directions, from Mulholland Highway south to Wonderview Drive, due to a broken water main

CNS and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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