LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A series of storms is expected to move into Southern California beginning tomorrow, ushering in four straight days of rain and heightening fears of flash flooding and possible mudslides in recent fire areas.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect the first rains to fall Monday morning or possibly afternoon. Showers are expected to continue through at least Thursday, with intermittent breaks, forecasters said.
The Woolsey fire zone in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will be the area of greatest concern, but Los Angeles County officials are also cautioning residents of the recent 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. “Elderly residents, individuals who have medical conditions and residents who own large animals should make plans now to leave their homes as a precaution.”
In the mountains in and around Los Angeles County, the storm is expected to bring gusty and potentially damaging winds Monday through Tuesday morning, then the potential for heavy snow -- as much as 6 to 12 inches.
The combination of the wind and snow likely will create dangerous mountain conditions for drivers.
L.A. County health officials are urging swimmers and surfers to steer clear of water near storm drains, which are flushed out by rain and can contain hazards that can make them ill.
The beach water use advisory was in effect until at least 7 a.m. Tuesday, although it could be extended before then.
“Avoid swimming, surfing and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers,” Dr. Muntu Davis said. “Bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters in and around these outlets after a rainfall.”
For updated beach conditions, call the county's 24-hour hotline at (800) 525-5662 or visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/beach/.