PHOTOS: Historic Southern California Storm Brings Record Flooding and Dangerous Landslides

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rainfall from one of the wettest storms in Southern California history was to ease off Tuesday, but forecasters warned that floods were still possible and soaked ground raised the threat of potentially deadly landslides.

The slow-moving storm that parked itself over the region on Monday, dumping record amount of rain on parts of Los Angeles, could linger into Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Scattered showers and some possible thunderstorms would bring light to moderate rain, but there was still the threat that many places could see brief, fierce downpours dumping a half-inch to an inch ( 1.3 to 3 centimeters) of rain in an hour.

Authorities warned people to remain on high alert and most of Southern California remained under flood watches. Swollen and fast-moving creeks and rivers “increase the risk for drowning and the need for swift water rescues,” the weather service said.

The storm plowed through Northern California over the weekend, killing three people who were crushed by falling trees, then lingered over the south. It was the second storm fueled by an atmospheric river to hit the state over the span of days.

On Monday, it deluged Los Angeles with rain, sending mud and boulders down hillsides dotted with multimillion-dollar homes while people living in homeless encampments in many parts of the city scrambled for safety.

(Yasin Demirci/Anadolu via Getty Images)

A man walks his dog on the edge of the Los Angeles River, carrying stormwater downstream on Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. The second of back-to-back atmospheric rivers battered California, flooding roadways and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands and prompting a rare warning for hurricane-force winds as the state braced for days of heavy rains. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Los Angeles River on Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Storm runoff is seen along the LA River in Atwater Village on Feb. 5, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Submerged trees stand in the flooded Los Angeles River on February 5, 2024. (Kyle Grillot for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

An aerial view of the Los Angeles River swollen by storm runoff from a l long-duration atmospheric river storm on February 5, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A vehicle drives through water on a flooded street in Ventura, California, on Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

A resident watches as floodwaters rise during a rainstorm on Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

A pedestrian walks through floodwaters during a rainstorm on Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

Firefighters rescue a dog from a homeless encampment that became surrounded by floodwater in the Santa Ana River during a rainstorm on Feb. 5, 2024, in San Bernardino, California. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

A person walks through floodwaters on February 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Gilberto Bueno rides a mare during the rain storm in a neighborhood in Duarte, California, on February 5, 2024. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Near the Hollywood Hills, floodwaters carried mud, rocks and household objects downhill through Studio City, city officials said. Sixteen people were evacuated and several homes were red-tagged.

“It looks like a river that’s been here for years,” said Keki Mingus, whose neighbors’ homes were damaged. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Drake Livingston who lives in the Beverly Crest neighborhood, was watching a movie around midnight when a friend alerted him to flooding.

“We looked outside and there’s a foot-and-a-half of running water, and it starts seeping through the doors,” said Livingston, whose car was found submerged in mud Monday morning.

Downtown Los Angeles received nearly 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain by Monday night, nearly half the yearly average of 14.25 inches (36 centimeters). It was already the third-wettest two-day period since 1877, the service said.

The danger wasn’t over despite a projected dip in the rainfall, warned Ariel Cohen, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service bureau in Los Angeles.

“The ground is extremely saturated, supersaturated,” he said at a Monday afternoon news conference. “It’s not able to hold any additional water before sliding. It’s not going to take much rain for additional landslides, mudslides, rockslides and other debris flows to occur.”

An aerial view of a home destroyed by a mudslide from the atmospheric river storm in Los Angeles, CA, on February 5, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Water pours down Fryman Road during a rain storm on Feb. 5, 2024, in Studio City, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A garage door of a home is damaged by the storm on Feb. 5, 2024, in Studio City, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Mud, rocks, and debris from a storm are strewn outside of a property on Feb. 5, 2024, in Studio City, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Storm damage from mud, rocks, and debris flowing along Lockridge Road in Studio City, CA, has caused major damage to vehicles and houses in the area on February 5, 2024. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

An SUV sits buried by a mudslide on Feb. 5, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles, CA. A storm of historic proportions unleashed record levels of rain over parts of Los Angeles on Monday, endangering the city’s large homeless population, sending mud and boulders down hillsides dotted with multimillion-dollar homes and knocking out power for more than a million people in California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A first responder stands atop a hill in the aftermath of a mudslide on Feb. 5, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Submerged vehicles are photographed after a mudslide on Feb. 5, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Workers shore up the beach during a storm in Malibu, California, on Feb. 5, 2024. Los Angeles and the wealthy enclaves of Montecito and Malibu face life-threatening landslides and flash flooding on Monday as an intense atmospheric river inundated Southern California. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A home slid off of it’s foundation, destroying the home and damaging surrounding homes during severe storms that hit Southern California on February 5, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. (Katie McTiernan/Anadolu via Getty Images)

A home slid off of it’s foundation, destroying the home and damaging surrounding homes during severe storms that hit Southern California on February 5, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. (Katie McTiernan/Anadolu via Getty Images)

A homeowner, is seen in the driveway littered with debris from a mud slide during severe storms that hit Southern California causing flooding and mud slides on February 5, 2024, in Studio City, California. (Katie McTiernan/Anadolu via Getty Images)

People gather where a home was destroyed by a mudslide as a powerful long-duration atmospheric river storm, the second in less than a week, continues to impact Southern California on February 5, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In LA, an evacuation order remained in place for some residents of a canyon area that was scarred by a 2022 fire. The area was at increased risk of mud and debris flows because the area was burned bare of brush and trees that could hold it back, authorities said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said 1,000 firefighters had dealt with more than 300 mudslides in addition to more than 100 reports of flooding and rescues of motorists stranded in vehicles on inundated roadways.

Shelters added beds for the city’s homeless population of nearly 75,000 people.

Tony Sanz spent the night in a city park before seeking higher ground around dawn as floodwaters were rising around his tent.

“Boy did it rain last night,” he said Monday afternoon hunkered down in a tent layered with tarps on a sidewalk outside a supermarket. He spied the cloudy skies during a break in the downpours and wondered, “Is that it? I hope that’s it.”

Crews rescued people from swift-moving water in various parts of Southern California, including 16 people and five cats in Los Angeles County alone, authorities said.

About an hour’s drive east of Los Angeles, two homeless people were rescued Monday after spending the night on a small island in the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino.

“They were cold and exhausted from a night out stranded on this little patch of dirt that was in the middle of the river,” said Capt. Nathan Lopez of the San Bernardino County Fire Department. A dog and two cats were also saved.

Authorities also reported several spills Monday, including the discharge of about 5 million gallons (18.9 million liters) of raw sewage in the Rancho Dominguez area surrounding Compton. Most of the untreated sewage went into a channel leading to the Pacific Ocean and the city closed a 7-mile (11-kilometer) stretch of Long Beach to recreational swimming.

A truck drives through a flooded street during a rainstorm, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

Workers clear a tree that fell onto a home during heavy wind and rain on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Workers clear a tree that fell onto a home during heavy wind and rain on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater as heavy rains caused the Guadalupe River to swell, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, Calif. The vehicle was uninhabited. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Over the weekend, the storm inundated streets and brought down trees and prompted water rescues in the San Francisco Bay area.

Among those who died were two men killed by fallen trees Sunday in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, and in Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County. Police were investigating the death of another man in Yuba City, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, who was found under a redwood tree in his backyard Sunday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for most of coastal Southern California and on Monday, President Joe Biden promised to provide any needed federal help.

“We’ll get any help on the way as soon as you guys request it,” he told Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in a telephone call.

In this aerial photograph, a closed roadway is seen flooded in Sonoma, California, on February 4, 2024. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

___

Associated Press journalists Christopher Weber, John Antczak, Julie Watson, Michael R. Blood, Eugene Garcia, and Amy Taxin contributed to this report.

source

Share :
comments

post a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *