July 20, 2017

'Weather bomb', worst storm in years, hits California

20 February 2017, 12:59 | Leonard Manning

Two occupants narrowly escaped injury when their vehicle fell into another 20-foot sinkhole off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City on Friday night, the LA Times reported.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said within four hours on Friday afternoon it responded to 150 reports of downed wires, one of which led to a fatality.

Also in effect is a small craft advisory that will be in effect until noon Friday and a gale watch - issued in cases of winds of between 34 and 47 knots - through late Saturday night. The city erected concrete and wood barriers to protect neighborhoods after wildfires last summer made the area vulnerable to mudslides.

Amtrak cancelled services for much of California's southern and central coast, and several stretches of road were closed by flooding.

Residents have been told to prepare for the heavy rains and to pack up anything that might be laying around outside, according to the L.A. Times.

Two people in a vehicle were rescued and four students on the bus were removed and taken to a school office, he said.

This storm, one of the biggest storms in years to target the region, bombarded Southern California with heavy rain and gusty winds on Friday into Friday night.

Mudslides are burying cars and turning roads into muddy rivers. Between Sunday and Tuesday morning, a new blast of torrential rain raises the specter of a serious flooding event in the region. Flooding was also reported on some streets near Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia. Ask the owners of the cars that fell into sinkholes-including a fire truck-as rain pummeled the area's roadways over the past few days.

In the San Fernando Valley, two cars fell into a giant sinkhole.

And in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his auto.

They say it never rains in California - oh, but when it does, it really really rains! Police suspected they had been speeding in the rain.

The "bombogenesis", or "weather bomb", flooded numerous freeways while gail force winds took down hundreds of trees and power lines. The agency urged people in affected areas to remain on the lookout for downed trees and power lines.

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There also were multiple swift-water rescues.

Using ropes and inflatable boats, firefighters rescued seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River.

Evacuation orders were issued Friday for areas where brush fires hit last summer, with officials anxious about the potential for mudslides.

As light rain fell on Alex Alarcon's baseball cap, the Duarte resident spoke about why he made a decision to stay in his home despite the evacuation order.

Six Flags Magic Mountain officials announced Saturday morning that the Valencia theme park would not open Saturday.

Residents were ordered to leave areas down from the dam due to high water flows and the potential for a failure at a spillway. West of there, mud 2-feet deep closed Route 138 to Highway 2.

Two passengers died in separate crashes on rain-slick Interstate 15 in Mira Mesa and City Heights on Friday, the CHP said. Even worse is that the weather is just getting started.

"If you're not an expert surfer, you should stay out of the water through this weekend", Erdman said.

"I just want to play it safe. The lane under the fire engine has failed, and the engine has gone over the side", the San Bernardino County Fire Department said on Twitter. A voluntary evacuation was ordered for West Cajon Valley and a shelter was set up at Serrano High School in Phelan. Fire officials have removed equipment from the station to protect it from damage, he said. "But where this system stalls with the cold front is really what we're most concerned about because that's where we'll see those moderate to heavy rain rates come across", Brian Garcia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Saturday. Parts of Ventura County have seen totals of more than 6 inches.

Coastal waters will be unsafe through the weekend. Another storm is expected to move into the area early next week, following a short break on Sunday.

With more showers in the forecast, several locations throughout Riverside County offer free sand and sandbags to residents while quantities last.

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