Latest Storm Hits Southland; Expected To Clear By Afternoon

Latest Storm Hits Southland; Expected To Clear By Afternoon

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An early morning storm drenched parts of Los Angeles County, but is expected to clear by this afternoon.

The storm reached the county shortly after midnight and could produce between a half-inch and an inch of rain, National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Rorke said.

No serious flooding, debris flows or mudslides are expected as a result of the system -- but they are not totally inconceivable.

The Woolsey fire zone in Ventura and Los Angeles counties will be the area of greatest concern, Rorke said, and the threat will increase if thunderstorms develop.

The greater risk could come next week, beginning Sunday, when a series of storms slide in “one after the other” through Thursday, possibly producing 2 to 4 inches of rain, Rorke said, indicating three weather systems may be involved.

“We're expecting 12 to 18 hours of dangerously heavy rain,” he said.

But with various models in conflict, it's not possible to say when or where that dangerous period will take place, Rorke said.

Los Angeles County officials are cautioning residents of recent burn areas such as the Woolsey, Creek and La Tuna fires to monitor local news outlets, avoid driving through moving or ponded water and report storm-related emergencies to (800) 675-HELP (4357).

County officials encouraged some residents to consider evacuating the area in advance of the storm.

“Peak rainfall rates may result in significant mud and debris flow, and we encourage Woolsey Fire survivors to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice,” county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said, referring to the wildfire that ripped through the Malibu area. “Elderly residents, individuals who have medical conditions and residents who own large animals should make plans now to leave their homes as a precaution.”

County officials said residents in low-lying areas or next to steep slopes or waterways are particularly at risk. They advised residents on the following streets to be prepared to evacuate: Mulholland/Sycamore Canyon, Decker Canyon Road, Encinal Canyon Road, Trancas/Paseo Canyon, Kanan Dume Road, Latigo Canyon, Corral Canyon and Malibu Canyon.

South of Mulholland the neighborhoods of Decker School, Malibu West, Malibu Park/Bonsall, Ramirez Canyon, Zumirez, Ocean View/Escondido, El Nido and Newell were advised to be prepared to evacuate. North of Mulholland, the warning includes Oak Forest Mobile Estates, Triunfo/Lobo Canyon, Seminole Springs, Malibu Lake and surrounding areas from Trifuno Creek to Cornell Road and Old Agoura.

Early today, the city of Malibu announced the following road closures in the city due to mud and debris from this morning's storm:

-- Cuthbert Road, just west of Busch Drive;

-- Harvester Road at Clover Heights Avenue;

-- Cuthbert Road and Bonsall Avenue at Rainsford Avenue.

Pacific Coast Highway is closed in both directions between Morning View Drive and Guernsey Avenue due to debris flow, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lost Hills Station. Drivers are urged to proceed with caution on all roads and beware of water, mud and rocks in the road.

Along the coast, a high surf advisory will be in effect from 2 a.m. today until noon Sunday in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Breaking waves of 7 to 10 feet are expected to occur, most likely on exposed west-facing beaches.

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