Published On: Sat, Mar 1st, 2014

California Evacuations Ordered Amid Heavy Rain

Heavy rains have hit the drought-stricken state, prompting fears of dangerous debris flows in the foothill suburbs east of Los Angeles.City officials in Monrovia ordered the evacuation of 200 homes, adding to the 1,000 homes already evacuated in nearby Glendora and Azusa on Thursday.

California Evacuations

The area sits below nearly 2,000 acres of steep mountain slopes stripped by fire in January.

Dana Waldusky’s home survived the blaze, which firefighters stopped just 15ft from her family’s backyard fence.

“This time there’s nothing you can do. You can’t stop water,” she said.

Crews worked in the downpour on Friday, attempting to contain mud and water flows in residential neighbourhoods.

The first wave of the storm caused a small debris flow that covered one Glendora street but no property damage occurred, police said.

Residents built barriers of wood and sandbags to keep their homes as protected as possible.

The storm’s full force is expected to bring thunderstorms and up to an inch of rain per hour, the National Weather Service said.

Rain was also falling in the central coast counties, in the San Francisco Bay region and in the Central Valley. Winter storm warnings were in effect in the Sierra Nevada for heavy snowfall.

Forecasts called for the storm to last through Saturday, bringing some relief amid California’s long-running drought.The state’s rain totals are far below normal and it will take a series of drenching storms to make a dent in a state-wide drought that is among the worst in recent history.