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Residents brace for heavy rains

Weather could cause mudslides on fire-scorched hillsides

December 07, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

LA CRESCENTA — Residents hunkered down this morning in anticipation of heavier rain that’s expected to come later today and fall on fire-scorched hillsides, creating the biggest threat of mudslides and debris flows yet.

A steady rainstorm today tested the stability of walls of sandbags and dozens of concrete blocks, which residents and authorities erected to stop debris flows from destroying neighborhoods in the recent burn areas.

Los Angeles County and Glendale crews double-checked concrete barriers and monitored catch basins this morning ahead of the heavier rainfall. County officials had not received reports of damage yet, said Gary Boze, a Los Angeles County Public Works spokesman.

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“We’re on full storm watch,” he said.

County and fire crews were monitoring water levels in 28 debris basins in the areas burned by the Station fire. Authorities expected the heaviest rain to start around noon.

La Crescenta residents Tina Ferraro and Paddy Lock were also keeping tabs on the debris basins with an early morning walk along the canyons of Deukmejian Wilderness Park.

“Everything looks great,” Lock said. “Nothing looks like it is moving.”

The pair stood outside Ferraro’s home on Dunsmore Avenue and looked at the stream of water in the street gutter. The water was clear, which they said was good sign that debris wasn’t falling off the mountains.

A brief but powerful storm in mid-November sent mud and rocks into backyards and onto residential streets.

Crews were in their neighborhood during the weekend, preparing the area for today’s storm.

In anticipation of the storm, county and city crews last week piled sandbags along debris basins and secured concrete blocks, known as K-rails, in front of homes.


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