Glendora hillsides: No damage, but flood watch remains

GLENDORA, Calif. (KABC) -- The hillsides in Glendora charred by the Colby Fire are holding up well Wednesday despite heavy rainfall from the first strong storm of the rainy season.

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The San Gabriel Valley remains under a Flash Flood Watch until 6 a.m. Thursday.

The rain subsided Wednesday, but Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers says emergency officials have decided to keep the city on Orange Alert until 6 a.m. Thursday, with voluntary evacuations in the foothills, as the current storm still poses potential problems.

"(They) become a little more unstable than they had originally thought this morning, and with that unstable becomes the risk of thunderstorms rises," said Jeffers. "And it's the thunderstorm that really has us concerned."

Wednesday morning, a scattered light rain fell over the burn area. The heavy rain cell managed to skirt just east of Glendora, which is great news for the neighborhood. Residents said the lack of any sudden downpours also gave everybody a chance to stay ahead of the storm.

Steady rain fell all day Tuesday, causing concern for area residents. Many took matters into their own hands, stacking up piles of sandbags and lining up K-rails and wood barriers to divert any water and possible debris flow away from homes.

Glendora city officials pre-filled 12,000 sand bags to help residents prepare.

Public works crews remained vigilant over the flood channels, making sure they're clear from debris. Culverts were cleared and runoff wasn't given any chance to start backing up.

A storm months ago did a lot more damage to the area than the recent weather system.

"I was expecting a little more mud than we actually got. The last February rain, all of Grand and Rainbow was pretty much covered in mud," said Max Ricci, a Glendora resident.

The worst of the storm is over for now, but residents realize this is just the start of what could be months of rainy weather, and the K-rails, sandbags and their nerves will be tested each time it starts to rain.

Ahead of the big storm on Monday, the alert level in Glendora was raised to "Yellow," which restricts cars, trash bins and other obstructions from being on the roads to ensure access for emergency crews.

That warning was upped to "Orange" on Tuesday, urging residents to voluntarily evacuate areas endangered by flooding and debris. Glendora Mountain Road was closed until further notice.

An evacuation center was set up at the Crowther Teen & Family Center, 241 W. Dawson Ave. The Inland Valley Humane Society will be available at the center to offer assistance with pets. Horses can be taken to the Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave.

Sandbags were available for residents free of charge at the City Yard, 440 S. Loraine Avenue.

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