The risk of floods and mudslides remains
Large swaths of Southern California remained under flood warnings on Tuesday, as more rain fell a day after a historic and deadly storm swept through the state, causing hundreds of mudslides.
A record storm system is expected to drop up to 3 inches of rain in Los Angeles and San Diego throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. The additional rain raises fears of flooding and mudslides because the ground is severely saturated in many areas. Downtown Los Angeles has been drenched in rain since Sunday, the equivalent of six months, the National Weather Service said.
The San Diego area will remain under a flood watch through the evening because “excessive runoff may lead to flooding of rivers, creeks, creeks and other low-lying, flood-prone locations,” the National Weather Service said. The flash flood warning issued for the Los Angeles-area cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood ended at 5 a.m.
Videos showed commuters navigating flooded streets and roads blocked by fallen trees and power lines.
Meteorologists said that the intensity of the rain is expected to diminish slightly from what happened over the weekend as the storm heads east towards the desert. The potential for flash flooding will extend into western Arizona, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah.
∎ A flood watch is in effect across Ventura and parts of Santa Barbara counties until 5 p.m. as the storm threatens to drop up to an inch of rain per hour in some areas. Heavy rains carry a “risk of serious flooding, especially on highways and local roads.”
∎ About 143,000 people were without power across California Tuesday morning, according to a database maintained by USAT TODAY.
∎ A debris flow caused major damage to about five homes in Beverly Hills on Monday, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. The administration said that although no one was trapped, about 10 people were displaced.
Fire chief to Los Angeles residents: ‘Don’t let your guard down’
An atmospheric river system will bring rain and, in some areas, thunderstorms throughout the day, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Christine Crowley said at a news conference Tuesday. She added that the rains “will continue to cause dangerous conditions on roads and will increase the chances of mudslides and flooding.”
As of Monday night, city resources had recorded 270 fallen trees, 159 reports of potholes and road damage, and responded to 307 mudslides, she said.
Crowley asked residents to monitor their phones for warnings, especially those who live on hillsides. People were urged to stay away from the Los Angeles River after firefighters rescued a person from the swollen waterway Monday night.
“The Los Angeles River is full and will continue to idle at high volume today,” she said. “As the storm continues to impact our city, don’t let your guard down.”
Storm brings heavy rain to Las Vegas and Phoenix
Areas of Arizona and Nevada were under flood warnings on Tuesday as the slow-moving storm moved east from California.
According to AccuWeather, the storm posed a risk of flash flooding, including across major cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix. Heavy rain is expected to hit Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon, while Phoenix residents will feel the heaviest impacts overnight and into Wednesday.
“While rapidly falling heavy rain can lead to street and highway flooding in the area, heavier rains, of 1-2 inches, are more likely to occur on south- and southwest-facing mountain slopes in Arizona,” said Adam Doty, lead expert. Meteorologists at AccuWeather. He said.
The storm breaks multiple rainfall records from Los Angeles to Oceanside
Monday’s weather storm broke several rainfall records across Southern California, according to the weather service.
Downtown Los Angeles received 2.93 inches of rain on Monday, the weather service said, surpassing the previous record of 2.30 inches set 123 years ago in 1901. And to the south, in Oceanside, a city 40 miles north of San Diego. Monday’s rainfall total was more than an inch more than the previous record set in 1948.
Rainfall set new records in Anaheim, Vista and San Jacinto, the weather service said.
The storm kills at least 3 people and causes hundreds of mudslides
Officials attributed at least three deaths to the storm as of Tuesday morning. In Yuba City, 40 miles north of Sacramento, a man was killed when a redwood tree fell on him due to high winds, police said. Two other men were killed by falling trees Sunday in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, and in Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County.
The storm hit Los Angeles with heavy rain and winds, causing millions of dollars in damage to homes across the city and prompting workers at homeless shelters to search for more beds. Sixteen people were evacuated and several homes near the Hollywood Hills were red-tagged.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said 1,000 firefighters responded to more than 300 mudslides in addition to more than 100 reports of flooding and rescued motorists stranded in vehicles on flooded roads. Shelters have added beds for the city’s roughly 75,000 homeless people.
AccuWeather estimated that the state’s initial total damage and economic losses would be between $9 billion and $11 billion.
The 11.87 inches of rainfall in 24 hours on Monday was 1 in 1,000 years, according to the UCLA weather station.
Contributing: Associated Press John Bacon, Thao Nguyen, Doyle Rice, Kayla Jimenez