Last and Largest Storm Until Next Week.

Well, turns out we received a month’s worth of rain in four days.  We are now ahead of our average for the season and we still have three months to go.  Today’s storm was brutal and more is expected tonight through tomorrow.  5 to 10 more inches after 8" today.  Roads to Las Vegas and the mountain ski resorts are closed.  The beaches are a mess and now more tornado warnings.  Lots of mudslides and flooding.  I think the sun peeked out for 10 seconds today.  I didn’t recognize what it was! 
Here’s the lastest with more photos:

The latest winter storm moved through Southern California with a wallop this afternoon, flooding roads, causing tornado-like winds in Ventura and Santa Barbara and causing small mudslides in foothill communities.

The storm brought winds of up to 80 mph and waves recorded at up to 20 feet. The brunt of the storm has moved to the east, but more showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast through Friday.

Acting Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco and Siskiyou counties due to the series of storms. In a prepared statement, Brown cited the loss of human life, injuries, flooding, heavy snows, loss of power and mudslides as reason for the state of emergency. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger  is currently in Washington D.C.]

Ventura County fire officials said that they had received reports that a tornado touched down in the eastern end of the city of Ventura near North Bank Drive and Montgomery Avenue, downing power lines and causing damage to cars, outbuildings and agriculture, as well as toppling a tree into a home.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash said officials are still assessing the damage.

“There is more than a mile-long path of destruction,” Nash said. “It’s a pretty serious situation.”

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jack Richards said fire and law enforcement personnel were going house to house in two neighborhoods and an agricultural area.

Richards said police interviewed at least four witnesses who reported seeing a funnel cloud touch down. “It picked a Chrysler Sebring off the ground, it hovered for second and spun it around," Richards said. “It hit a tree and blew out the rear and side windows.”

He said it also uprooted some trees. “It plucked them right out of the ground like a eyebrow,” Richards said. “It also tore the roofs off some sheds.”

The National Weather Service has not yet classified the winds in that area as a tornado. The agency said a tornado watch had been issued for eastern Riverside County.

Southwest Airlines is suspending and canceling flights arriving and departing this afternoon at its airports in Burbank, Ontario, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson, citing high wind conditions.

Flights at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport were suspended after 1 p.m., and airline officials said they tentatively plan to resume service at those airports after 6 p.m., when the current storm is expected to clear out. The majority of flights were canceled for the rest of today at John Wayne Airport in Orange County and at airports in San Diego, Tucson and Phoenix

At John Wayne Airport, Dartagnan Pendleton, 41, stared at the flight board, assessing his options. There weren’t many.

“Yeah it is a big deal,” he said. “My father is a quadriplegic and his wife is going away on business tomorrow and I need to be there to take care of him.”

He said he was considering taking a flight to Fresno on another airline or even renting a car in Orange County and driving to Oakland. “I don’t know whether I can get through on the 5” Freeway, he said.

Vincent Vancil, 34, was suppose to catch a 3:30 p.m. flight to Oakland, but instead found himself milling around John Wayne.

“If I don’t get home by tomorrow morning, my wife’s going to be upset,” he said. “She has plenty of things to do.”

The California Highway Patrol this morning shut Interstate 5 at the Grapevine because of heavy snow. The CHP also said road visibility was down to zero on some roads in Temecula. 

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for large swaths of Southern California. The worst of the rain pounded Orange County and the Inland Empire.

According to the agency, the barometric pressure at Los Angeles International Airport fell to 29.20 inches of mercury, breaking a record set in 1988.

The storm’s main front could bring 0.5 to 0.75 inch of rain an hour, forecasters said, warning of possible thunderstorms that could increase that figure to more than 1 inch an hour. The rain is expected to lessen tonight, but showers are possible Friday.

The weather service is warning of life-threatening mud and debris flows in areas stripped of vegetation by last year’s Station fire. About 1,000 homes have been ordered evacuated.

Residents in La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Acton were told they may have to stay away from their homes until Monday, said Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. About 500 homes in those areas were under mandatory evacuation orders, and about 75% of residents had left their homes.

“That is a long time, but we want them to be safe,” Nishida said, adding that residents could be allowed back earlier.

Rain tapered off this morning in La Cañada Flintridge, but Nishida warned that the ground was still saturated.

“We aren’t out of the woods yet,” she said.

Evacuation orders were still in effect for 262 homes in south Tujunga Canyon, said Deputy Operations Chief Lt. Jeffrey Bert of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Residents were being escorted back on a case-by-case basis, he said.

“Some people might need medicine, but we strongly encourage people to stay evacuated,” Bert said.

On Ocean View Boulevard in the La Cañada-LaCrescenta area this morning, it was sprinkling lightly. Some L.A. County cleanup crews were mopping up minor mudflows and other debris from overnight runoff.

Officials are gearing up for mudslides that are predicted to hit the areas denuded by the wildfires; they also warned several hundred residents who opted to ignore evacuation orders that they should leave.

Debris basins and flood control channels in the La Cañada Flintridge, Acton and La Crescenta areas, as well as the Tujunga Canyon area, are nearly at capacity, which could cause mudslides if a hard rainfall occurs, said Gail Farber, Los Angeles County’s public works director.

No major incidents of debris flows or runoff were reported early this morning, Farber said, but she warned that “the storm is not over."

About 3,000 customers in Brentwood and Koreatown did not have power this morning after their electricity was knocked out late Wednesday because of the storm, said officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, who also warned that the storm could down power lines, creating hazards.

About 5,400 residents in Valencia, Phelan, Chino Hills, Rowland Heights and Whittier remained without power this morning, according to Southern California Edison.

Scattered showers were reported this morning, the leading edge of the big storm. The rain caused numerous accidents, jamming the morning commute. In Long Beach, which has been hard hit by this week’s rain, the mayor urged residents to avoid driving today if possible, and Cal State Long Beach was closed.

A workman pauses while repairing a broken storm drain beneath the basement floor of the student union building at Cal State Long Beach. Cleanup and repair crews began working on damage throughout the building Thursday as the result of heavy rains the night before.


Dave Hargrave of Seal Beach is obscured by rain drops while carrying a red umbrella that provides some color to a monochromatic scene at the Seal Beach pier

A surfer goes over the falls on a big wave in Seal Beach. The latest winter storm that moved through Southern California brought waves recorded at up to 20 feet and winds of up to 80 mph.

Mud flows between homes on Derwood Drive near Ocean View Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge.

A man walks to his car from the Long Beach Aquarium during a heavy downpour in Long Beach.

Homeowner George Wiktor clears mud away so water can flow past his property on Earnslow Drive in La Cañada Flintridge.

Waves crash along the Santa Monica Pier.

A motorist rips through a flooded stretch of East Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

Vehicles drive around two cars stalled at the flooded intersection of San Fernando Road and Tuxford Street in Sun Valley during the third storm this week in Southern California.

Stephen May with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works clears tree limbs from the Mullally debris basin, above Ocean View Boulevard in the foothills of La Cañada Flintridge, on Wednesday morning before the heavy showers begin.

Sea gulls take flight under cloudy skies near Emma Wood State Beach, just west of Ventura.

Henrex Bou of Long Beach wades through flooded Redondo Avenue near Anaheim Street in Long Beach.

Chris Poplion of Carson, left, and Richard Macias of Corona take cover as a wave crashes over the breakwater at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro.Chris Poplion of Carson, left, and Richard Macias of Corona take cover as a wave crashes over the breakwater at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro.

Motorists make their way through floodwaters on the 710 Freeway near Willow Street in Long Beach.

Los Angeles County firefighters fill sandbags to be placed around the foundation of a home at the end of Haskell Street just north of Bigbriar Way in La Cañada Flintridge, where mud came sliding down the hillside behind the home. The runoff came down a natural drainage, but quickly filled the backyard when it breached a sandbag wall constructed by the homeowners before they evacuated.

A bulldozer pushes storm debris into piles as a brisk sea breeze blows storm clouds over Belmont Shore in Long Beach.

With mounds of snow piling up, sleet begins to fall on slush-covered streets in the San Bernardino Mountains community of Running Springs.

I have more photos but…. 

Looks like showers tomorrow and sun this weekend.  Then next week…  more storms lining up!  Our storms will be moving South and East so be prepared.

Take care



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8 Responses to Last and Largest Storm Until Next Week.

  1. john says:

    When nature gets wound up there nothing to control her. gives a good sense of smallness

  2. Joe says:

    Wild weather Bobber, nothing nearly so exciting here…and I’m glad!

  3. Babblelot says:

    I hope you and family are doing ok Bob. I thought and worried about you guys all day.Great post to update us Bob. Keep posting so we know you guys are alright.

  4. Sue says:

    So glad you, personally, are not having to deal with mudslides and snow. I may have to up in it tomorrow (there is SNOW in our Cobb Mountain area), but I’ll try not to get stuck. Boy we need this rain, but, as you pointed out, we don’t need it all at once. Stay warm, dry, and happy!

  5. Duckie says:

    We are strong, even more than we know at times. And I belive our county is watching out. It has to be.

  6. Dana says:

    Oh my gosh you have some crummy weather! I’m surprised Pat Robertson hasn’t talked about the "californians" making a pact with the devil. Pfffttt. I have been thinking about you and wondering if you have a pool in your front yard yet. Stay in and stay dry Bob!

  7. Hey Jude says:

    Holy crap, that’s some serious weather there!!!!! Hope you’re staying warm and dry, Bob. 🙂

  8. Lisa R. says:

    Bob, The pictures are worth a thousand words!! Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and all the Californians going through this! Your friend, Lisa.

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