US Storm triggers flooding, mud flows and freeway closures throughout Thomas fire burn area

18:11  09 january  2018
18:11  09 january  2018 Source:   Los Angeles Times

Drivers stranded as winter storm brings flooding

  Drivers stranded as winter storm brings flooding Police in several communities across Massachusetts are responding to stranded drivers and warning about the dangers of floodwatersBOSTON -- Police in multiple communities across Massachusetts are closing roads and responding to drivers stranded by flooding in the middle of Thursday's winter storm, CBS Boston reports. Video posted by Quincy police of the hazardous conditions on Twitter and warned drivers never to head into floodwaters. They say 12 inches of water is enough to sweep a car off the road.

Rain brings mud and freeway closures to Ventura County. A different kind of storm hit Ventura County on Wednesday, when bursts of heavy rain caused flooding , road closures and downed trees and power poles, but recent burn areas fared reasonably well, officials said.

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Heavy rains triggered freeway closures throughout the region Tuesday and unleashed mud flows in areas ravaged by wildfires last month, shutting down more than 30 miles of the 101 Freeway and leaving one person dead as rescue personnel scrambled through clogged roadways and downed trees, officials said.

Southern California braces for heavy rainstorm Monday, threatening burn areas with runoff

  Southern California braces for heavy rainstorm Monday, threatening burn areas with runoff Southern California is bracing for the first significant rainstorm to hit the region in nearly a year, beginning Monday and with the heaviest rain expected in some burn areas, forecasters said. Almost four inches of rain is expected in eastern Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County over 12 hours from Monday evening through Tuesday morning, forecasters said. The Thomas fire, which was centered in these two counties, burned more than 281,000 acres in that area last month, making it the largest fire on record in California.

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Burbank Boulevard is closed between Balboa Boulevard and the I-405 Freeway and Victory Boulevard at Woodley Avenue. Several roads were closed due to potential mud or debris slides in the Colby Fire burn area , as well as potential flooding

As of 5 a.m., at least 5 inches of rainfall had been collected in a gauge north of Ojai in Ventura County, in the burn area of the Thomas fire, which forced evacuations and destroyed homes last month, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.

Mike Eliason, a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said a heavy band of rain that hit the area around 2:30 a.m. has caused “waist-high” mud flows in Montecito. Several roads are littered with downed trees and power lines, and a gas main break caused at least one fire to erupt.

Emergency crews have received numerous calls for rescues from vehicles and homes, according to Eliason. Fire crews have also received a number of missing-person reports.

Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for rainstorm

  Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for rainstorm Ahead of a strong winter storm that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, authorities have ordered evacuations of Santa Barbara County neighborhoods that sit below areas recently burned by wildfires. Residents who live in the following areas were told to evacuate by noon Monday: north of Highway 192, east of Cold Springs Road, and west of Highway 150/the county line, as well as along Tecolote Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Dos Pueblos Canyon, Gato Canyon and in the Whittier fire burn areas near Goleta.

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“We’re still hoping that’s not the case,” he said.

a car that has a sign on the side of a road © Los Angeles Times The 101 Freeway was shut down in both directions for at more than 30 miles in the Thomas fire burn area due to flooding and debris flow, spanning an area from Santa Barbara to Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol.

oute 33 has also been closed between Fairview and Rose Valley roads north of Ojai, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

In Los Angeles County, one person was killed when a big rig overturned in the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway near Los Feliz, said Saul Gomez, public information officer for the CHP’s Southern Division. All northbound lanes were shutdown as of 4 a.m., though Gomez said police were hoping to reopen the roadway by 8 a.m.

The victim, who was not identified, was approximately 60-years-old, Gomez said. No one else was injured.

As of 7 a.m., Santa Barbara County fire officials had already rescued several people trapped in debris flows on Hot Springs Road in Montecito, Elias said on Twitter. Los Angeles Fire Department personnel also launched a swift water rescue to aid a man and a dog trapped in rising water near the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. Flooding in that area has caused road closures at Burbank Blvd near the 405 Freeway and at the intersection of Hayvenhurst Avenue, the LAPD said.

Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires

  Mudslides threaten California areas scorched by wildfires Evacuations were issued for parts of Southern California that were devastated by wildfires as the first major rainstorm of the season threatened the area."This strong storm is expected to produce heavy rain, high winds and extremely dangerous flash flooding, mud and debris flows," Santa Barbara County officials warned. "Flash floods, mud and debris flows can happen with little or no warning.

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Caltrans crews worked overnight to clear mud and debris from the freeway following Thursday's storm . A flash flood watch has been issued for the areas , and was scheduled to expire Friday evening. Witnesses Sought in Fire That Closed NB 57 Freeway Through Diamond Bar.

In Los Angeles County, a mudslide caused officials to close Topanga Canyon near the Pacific Coast Highway early Tuesday , , authorities said. The 110 North near Redondo Beach Blvd. has also been closed due to flooding, the CHP said.

The CHP also said the heavy rains likely contributed to a crash that left one person dead on Route 126 in an unincorporated section of Ventura County on Monday afternoon. One woman died and two others were injured in the five-car crash, the agency said.

The NWS was reporting rainfall totals of up to four-and-a-half inches in Ventura County and three inches in Santa Barbara County as of 6 a.m. Nearly one-and-a-half inches of rain had fallen in Bel Air, which could be susceptible to mudslides and debris flow due to the damage caused by the Skirball Fire last month.

Vast swaths of Southern California became subject to evacuation orders on Monday as the powerful rainstorm was forecast to release a deluge onto areas ravaged by wildfires last month. The heaviest rainfall was expected to hit Tuesday morning.

In Los Angeles County, sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door Monday alerting residents about the orders in Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon. Those who refused to leave said they had to sign a form saying they understood the risk.

Moments of terror in Thomas fire zone as powerful rains send the earth moving

  Moments of terror in Thomas fire zone as powerful rains send the earth moving  Montecito resident Dominic Shiach thought the worst was over when the massive Thomas fire finally stopped threatening his town last month. But Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the rains began to pound. Within hours, the community was inundated with mudslides, leaving at least five dead and some trapped among damaged homes.

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Residents in burn zones in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, along with an area of Duarte, were also ordered to leave, while those in Corona and Burbank burn areas were put on notice that they may have to if conditions worsened

When a fire sweeps through an area, it not only burns the vegetation but damages the soil itself. The intense heat makes the soil unable to absorb water the way it normally would.

james.queally@latimes.com

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.

UPDATES:

7:30 a.m.: This story was updated with additional information about incidents throughout the state.

7:00 a.m.: This story was updated with information about rescues in Montecito and Los Angeles.

6:30 a.m.: This story was updated with information about a fatal car crash in Los Angeles and a mudslide near Malibu.

This article was first published at 6:00 a.m.

As Montecito cleanup continues, a search for where to dump thousands of tons of mud .
MONTECITO, Calif. - For days, crews have filled dozens of dump trucks with tangled metal, tire tread, mud and tree branches they cleared from the mudslide wreckage in Montecito. This week they discarded at least 3,500 tons - or about 7 million pounds - of the muck at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, where it will be stored temporarily until crews can sort through it. But with the total haul 1/5 SLIDES © Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

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