‘Unrelenting’ rainfall to hit Southern California next week

Rain of ‘Epic proportions’
Four storms are expected to move through the region between late Sunday and Friday. Mountain thoroughfares will be closed and residents of foothill communities are urged to prepare for evacuation.
A series of storms is heading to Southern California and is expected to dump the heaviest rainfall since last summer’s Station fire and send debris and ash rushing into such foothill communities as La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta.

"This is their worst nightmare," said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. "It will be unrelenting."

Four storms are expected to move through the region between late Sunday and Friday, dropping 6 to 10 inches of rain in the coastal and valley areas, and 12 to 20 inches in the foothills and mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

Surfers will be thrilled with large swells and skiers will be able to carve through a layer of fresh powder on the mountains, but coastal residents could see flooding in beach areas that will also be inundated with urban runoff. The greatest concern are the communities beneath the Angeles National Forest hillsides left barren by the Station fire, which burned more than 160,000 acres.

The county’s mudslide preparedness in the burn areas has been tested this winter, but not in such a quick succession of storms, said Bob Spencer, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Four "storms back to back, that’s a little bit more worrisome for us. By all accounts, it’s going to be the biggest so far," he said. "We’re ready for it. We’ve done everything we can do."

More than 100,000 feet of concrete K-rail barriers have been laid to divert mudflow and debris away from homes, and 28 debris basins have been emptied and are ready to collect mud and rocks.

County officials plan to close mountain thoroughfares, including Angeles Forest Highway, Big Tujunga Canyon Road and Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, at 4 a.m. Sunday. The roads will reopen after the storm systems pass. Dozens of residents who live in mountain hamlets accessible by the roads have been urged to evacuate.

Officials with the public works, sheriff’s and fire departments and other involved parties will hold a conference call this morning to analyze the latest meteorological forecasts and mudslide predictions. All will have personnel on scene throughout the week.

Residents are being urged to closely monitor weather reports and prepare to evacuate.

"If they see debris coming down their streets, we strongly recommend they just evacuate, they just get out of the area, get in their vehicle, come down the hill and wait till it’s over," Spencer said.

The message has become second nature for many members of the affected communities.

"The suitcases are ready, the animals are ready," said Genevieve McLoud, who has lived in the 5900 block of Canyonside Road in La Crescenta for three decades. "We are parking across the street, all prepared to get out of here as quick as we can if we have to."

These preparations are growing increasingly routine for residents, who will have to deal with the mudslide danger for several years until the hillsides are stabilized by vegetation.

"Even now, there is greenery appearing at the ground level. It’s amazing how quickly the ecosystem recovers from this," Spencer said. "But any legitimate growth that may hold some of this debris, the forest experts are telling us [takes] between five and seven years."

The last time we had storms like this there was patio furniture floating down our street!



Haiti by the numbers

The numbers prompting an outpouring of earthquake assistance are giant.  But they are dwarfed by the number of victims and the deep povery of the survivors.

Here are the estimates so far:


The Red Cross says 45,000 to 50,000 have died.  The Oan American Health Organization say between 50,000 and 100,000. 

Bodies collected for disposal: 9,000, some 7,000 reportedly placed in a mass grave.

People needing help: 3 million.

Buildings damaged or destroyed: Up to 50%.

Hospitals or health facilities damaged, forced to close: eight.

Homeless people in Port-au-Prince: at least 300,000.

Water needed daily: 6 to 12 million gallons (enough to fill 18 Olympic swimming pools).



United Nations Emergency appeal for aid: $550.000.

U.S. pledge of aid: $100 million.

European Commission’s initial spending: 3 milliam Euros.

Total pledge of aid by governments around the world: $400 million.

International Red Cross’ initial emergency appeal goal: $10 million.

Amount raised by Save the Children: $7 million.

Amount pledged bt George Soros: $7 million.

Amount raised bt thw Salvation Army and other charites: More than $3 million.

This is a country that already was the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest worldwide. more than half of Haiti’s 9 million live on less than $1 a day, even before the earthquake, according to the United Nation’s World Food Program.  The World Bank said the average Haitian lives on just $1,180 a year. 

Nearly half of the population is hungry; only half had access to safe drinking water before the earthquake, according to the World Food Program.  Nearly 60% of children under are anemic.

Frightening numbers!!  I think they have enough aid on the way, now they need our prayers.





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5 Responses to ‘Unrelenting’ rainfall to hit Southern California next week

  1. ♥ Aimee says:

    the numbers are freighting aren’t they!

  2. Nancy says:

    Hi Serious, it is amazing watching on tv to see the world pitching in….all have one goal to help! I watched the 13 yr old boy with Katie Couric…I was wringing my hands…I have been praying at the oddest hours, thanks for the post Serious.

  3. Joe says:

    I remember in the Philippines heavy rain was feared in areas where volcanoes were in particular because the ash and mudflow would cause devastation after devastation…serious business no matter where that is. The Haiti situation is grim but I pray that somehow something good can shine out of this. It makes me sick to hear of some people coming agains the US in it all…my goodness…blind leading the blind. God’s grace be seen in that situation yet. Blessings to you Bob.

  4. Isabelle says:

    All this is scary and so sad!But what amazes me is why do there need to be a catastrophes (s) for all humans to give a hand!I do not want to sound pessimistic….. or hell I am! I sincerely hope all the money is used for the the aims intended!And yes the survivors needs all the prayers we can send.

  5. sweeti's says:

    Its very sad BobWhen u see tv u see the desperation in the eyes.when u have some one under the stones …a bit alive and u cant get him/her out..With ur handsthese images keep on haunting me…these ppl need all the help they can get. The world can handle of course..but i heard from the Belgian Be FAst guys…where to start? they see so much helpless ppl same time.and u have only 2 handslets pray and now we hope that the money will be on the right place..we all reemmber Tsunami yes???there is still money of that on bank accounts.understand who canMJ

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