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Foothill communities ready for Friday storm

February 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Another storm is moving in to Southern California and we could see some heavy rain and the renewed threat of mudslides Friday night. That has residents of La Canada and La Crescenta hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst. A break in the rain has given crews even more time to continue cleaning out debris basins, but it is hard to believe that we are seeing clear blue skies around the area Thursday as a powerful storm is just a day away.

With the impending storm, once again residents and city officials are on alert.

"We walked up to the canyon, to the debris basin and there is a lot of loose stuff. It is scary," said La Canada resident Olivia Brown. "There is a lot of stuff still up there. So after this last experience, it's an eye-awakening situation."

"If it gives us significant rain, the top and all of it that is loose will come down, fill up the debris basin, and then we will be right back where we were," said L.A. County Fire Captain Bruce Davis. "No landslides have come yet. That is a concern. We don't know how much more the hillsides can hold."

La Canada residents still cleaning up from this month's earlier mudslide fear this weekend's storm could pack the strength to bring even more damage.

"You take each storm as it comes, and just watch," said Olivia Brown. "You have to just be out there watching for yourself."

Crews are still working to clear the mud from this month's earlier slide and setting up new sandbags and K-rails to protect from any future slides.

"We came up here to take a look, and to see what is happening," said Davis. "We see that they reinforced the K-rails, they put in some new type of cement blocks that are secured and bolted together. Hopefully this will help the residents."

Some residents even set up their own walls, fearing the barriers just won't hold.

"The K-rails are now fastened, and I got a 5-foot wall in front of them," said La Canada resident Jeff Schroeder. "I think I'm good. Last time, the K-rail just folded up like wet cardboard and let all the mud and junk go into my garage, and this time I put up my own wall in front of it, so I'm confident."

It seems residents and officials have learned a lot from the most recent mudslides. Those barriers are now bolted down into the ground. Plus those sandbags are being replaced with concrete walls. Hopefully this weekend it actually pays off.