Looming SoCal rain storms welcomed by farmers, dreaded by homeowners

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Three heavy storms are expected this week in Southern California, bringing with them potentially up to five inches of rain in some areas. (KABC)

Three heavy storms are expected this week in Southern California, bringing with them potentially up to five inches of rain in some areas.

RELATED: The latest weather forecast from ABC7

That is presenting a good news/bad news scenario for the drought-ravaged region. Farmers are looking forward to more rain to help their crops, while homeowners in wildfire-damaged areas remain fearful of more mudslides.

Farmer Craig Underwood at Underwood Ranches in Somis is eagerly anticipating more rain.

The drought, he says, has meant pricey irrigation and soil problems.

"I've experienced droughts before, but this one feels worse," he said.

So he's been enjoying this wet winter after such a brutal, lengthy drought. Rainfall is, after all, free water for his crops falling from the sky, he says.

Meteorologist Mark Jackson at the National Weather Service in Oxnard says most of California has moved out of the drought now. But some parts of Southern California, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, are still suffering.

"It may seem like it's been a wet winter, but in reality it's been about an average winter," Jackson said. "And you need more than an average winter to really start making your way out of the drought."

Homeowners, particularly those near hillsides stripped bare by recent wildfires, are not nearly as excited for more rain as Underwood.

In Duarte, hit hard by the Reservoir Fire last summer, serious mudslide concerns remain. The area has experienced mudslides several times this winter.

"The situations that do produce the highest potential for mud and debris flows are the high-intensity, short-duration rainfall," Jackson said. "And there is that potential."

High winds are also expected during the upcoming storms. The combination of drought and sudden rainfall could cause problems for trees, so experts advise not parking under any old trees during or right after the storms.
Related Topics:
weatherrainflash floodingdroughtfarmingSomisVentura CountyLos Angeles County
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