Fire Chief Harold Scoggins urged people to heed the orders.
“Once you get the call to evacuate, you need to evacuate,” he said. “This is a very real event. We know it’s coming.”
Crews worked quickly Tuesday afternoon to stack a labyrinth of sandbags around Steve Voleti’s La Crescenta home, blanketed in mud the day before.
Nearly 300 bags made up the maze, which crews carefully formed into walls in Voleti’s backyard during the heavy downpour.
The crew rushed to finish the job on Quail Canyon Road as powerful thunderstorms rumbled above.
“This was totally unexpected,” Voleti said, referring to the mounds of mud and rocks from nearby Deukmejian Park that slid into his backyard and pool. “I didn’t have much to time to think,” he said.
Voleti wasn’t taking any chances Tuesday, using a moment of clear skies to clean up the mud and debris from his backyard.
The National Weather Service has forecasted that today’s storm will bring heavy rains reaching up to 7 inches in the foothills, strong winds and possible thunderstorms this afternoon and Thursday night. Rain could fall at a rate of 1 inch per hour.
Debris flows and urban flooding are likely, according to the weather service.
The Boston Avenue debris basin in La Crescenta was full of mud Tuesday. Levels reached the branches of tall trees.
Glendale’s director of public works, Steve Zurn, said debris basins throughout the area already began to fill up during Monday’s storm, and could overflow in the coming days.
“[County officials] have told us that they have concerns with a number of the basins, especially within the park, Dunsmore Basin and some of the smaller basins up in the Quail Canyon area,” Zurn said.
La Crescenta residents Brock Bone and John Dow drove around the foothills Tuesday afternoon, looking at the storm’s damage.
“My main concern is the dirt loosening up during the rains and forcing the water to overflow,” Bone said, noting the Boston Avenue basin.
About every 10 to 15 minutes, county public works dump trucks carried mud down Ocean View Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge.
A portion of Ocean View was closed. A sheriff’s deputy allowed only residents, police, county crews and media into the area.
K-rails were staggered on Ocean View to divert rushing mud and water. On the same block, crews tended to overflowing mud that ripped through the backyard of a home off Earnslow Drive.
County Public Works officials said Tuesday that flooding and mudflows could hit below burn areas on the Ventura (134) Freeway, Glendale (2) Freeway and Waltonia, Glen Ivy and Scholl drives.
A resident in the Glenoaks Canyon area reported rocks falling from the weakened hillside, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
— Megan O’Neil contributed to this report.