Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Rain in Southern California, a double edged sword?

It started to rain in Southern California on the night of December 1st. Any rain in drought stricken Southern California is a good thing.  But with the benefits of the rain to a very dry area comes the down side. The other edge of the sword. With these rain storms comes mud slides, and areas that are especially at risk include the hillsides of areas recently burned by wildfires. Denuded of trees because of a fire, the hills become unstable in the rain resulting in mud flows. The US National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard spoke of this risk in a weather story posted on their Facebook page on December 3, 2014:

“There will be some instability across portions of Los Angeles County later this afternoon and evening into the overnight hours. A flash flood watch remains in effect for the Los Angeles County burn areas through early Thursday morning. Although showers will be mostly moderate to locally heavy at times. With the possibility of local higher hourly rainfall rates and given the expected rainfall amounts in the foothills and mountains, there will be the potential for flash flooding in and around the recent burn areas is a concern through early Thursday morning. Residents close to the recent burn areas (including the Springs, Colby, Powerhouse and Williams burn areas) should be prepared for mud and debris flows.”

Some of you may recall:

The Powerhouse Fire that burned 30,274 acres in the Angeles National Forest in June of 2013.

The Springs Fire that burned 24,251 acres in May of 2013 in Ventura County.

Colby Fire that burned 1,952 acres in the Angeles National Forest in January of 2014.

In Ventura County, residents in areas throated by mud slides were evacuated, see this story from KPBS (12/2/14)

According to this report from CBS News on December 2nd evacuations were planned in Silverado in Orange County because of expected mud slides and a weak rain system on November 30th caused a mud slide that blocked a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu.

I found this story from CBS Los Angeles (12/3/14) about the effects of the 2-day rainfall.

Moving further south, here is a report on the rain storm from CBS8 in San Diego.

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