Evacuations ordered in fire-ravaged Southern California ahead of rain

Thousands of Southern Californians were ordered to evacuate Monday amid fears that rainfall could trigger mudslides i...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 11:52 AM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 11:52 AM

Thousands of Southern Californians were ordered to evacuate Monday amid fears that rainfall could trigger mudslides in regions charred by wildfires.

The wildfires, including several blazes last year, have burned acres of protective brush on hillsides, leaving little to no vegetation to prevent mudslides and debris flow, The first major storm of this rainy season was expected to drench Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and Los Angeles overnight Monday through Tuesday.

The first major storm of this rainy season is expected to drench area through Tuesday

Flash flood watches have also been issued for parts of Southern California

In Santa Barbara County, more than 6,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders, including residents in parts of Carpinteria, Montecito and Goleta, located below areas scorched by the wildfires over the past year and a half. Those fires included the massive Thomas Fire that started in December and is still not completely out, according to Gina DePinto, a county spokeswoman.

Voluntary evacuation warnings were in effect for another 20,000 people, including others in those same communities, she said.

Los Angeles County officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents of Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tijunga Canyon, areas affected by the Creek Fire. Police and fire officials in Los Angeles helped with evacuations in areas damaged by the Creek and Fish fires, officials said.

Ventura County also issued both mandatory and voluntary evacuations for several communities.

In Santa Barbara, DePinto said the Thomas fire burned 17 major canyons that span 40 miles, destroying the county's watershed.

The Thomas Fire is the largest wildfire in state history, having burned more than 281,000 acres since it began on December 4. It was 92 percent contained Monday; officials don't expect full containment until later this month.

"If you think of mud, trees, rocks, huge boulders coming down; there's nothing to stop it because it's completely burned," DePinto said.

Homeowners in charred areas were advised to take precautionary measures like stacking sandbags to divert the flow of water and mud, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Crews in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties had already been frantically clearing out debris basin and storm drains. Crews were taking no chances in flood channels, hauling away anything that could block the drain and cause pooling, then flooding.

While such cleanup occurs before every rainy season, the scale of the Thomas Fire increased the intensity.

"Generally, we are dealing with hundreds of acres (burned), not in the thousands or hundred thousands," Jeff Pratt, director of public works in Ventura County told CNN last week. "This is an order of magnitude or two greater than anything we've ever dealt with."

Up to 4 inches of rain was expected overnight in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. Two inches of rain was expected to fall in Los Angeles, with gusty winds, heavy precipitation and thunderstorm possible through Tuesday, Guy said.

The heaviest rainfall is expected is between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. in the three counties, Guy said.

About a half an inch or rain per hour is enough to start to produce mudslides, according to Robbie Monroe of the National Weather Service Oxnard office.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 446380

Reported Deaths: 5995
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin927471474
Ramsey39820736
Dakota32876338
Anoka30877363
Washington20066227
Stearns17813187
St. Louis13609241
Scott1191796
Wright11570104
Olmsted1041375
Sherburne818965
Carver692436
Clay650280
Rice604168
Kandiyohi553471
Blue Earth538933
Crow Wing481374
Otter Tail454466
Chisago450832
Benton418685
Winona387246
Douglas373466
Nobles368746
Mower363329
Goodhue345358
Polk327956
McLeod324245
Morrison311144
Beltrami309447
Lyon300636
Becker284139
Itasca284043
Isanti281641
Carlton278543
Steele27229
Pine266013
Freeborn243420
Todd231630
Nicollet223836
Brown214534
Mille Lacs213646
Le Sueur208815
Cass207323
Meeker199233
Waseca188916
Wabasha16953
Martin169326
Roseau165416
Hubbard149238
Redwood139527
Renville137139
Houston135613
Dodge13384
Chippewa130932
Cottonwood126818
Fillmore12245
Wadena119616
Rock109712
Sibley10837
Aitkin107633
Watonwan10638
Faribault104616
Pennington98815
Kanabec97418
Pipestone93923
Yellow Medicine93514
Murray8785
Jackson85210
Swift83118
Pope7375
Marshall70315
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63215
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59310
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4553
Unassigned43668
Grant4298
Norman4238
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3164
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1901
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303464

Reported Deaths: 4269
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45396448
Linn17695274
Scott15387163
Black Hawk13659236
Woodbury12953175
Johnson1204749
Dubuque11312150
Pottawattamie8942112
Dallas882171
Story863834
Webster467571
Cerro Gordo463568
Sioux453756
Clinton448861
Warren438838
Marshall425761
Buena Vista391929
Muscatine386777
Des Moines380941
Plymouth348968
Wapello341698
Jasper320458
Lee314430
Marion302152
Jones270449
Henry263430
Carroll253434
Bremer242248
Crawford228522
Boone216417
Washington214531
Benton208844
Jackson191131
Mahaska190736
Tama185857
Dickinson184226
Delaware172336
Kossuth171343
Clay166019
Wright163024
Fayette160022
Buchanan158323
Hamilton157929
Winneshiek155119
Harrison154762
Hardin154229
Cedar151819
Clayton150748
Butler146824
Page143715
Cherokee138227
Floyd138036
Mills136016
Lyon133832
Poweshiek132424
Hancock129024
Allamakee126927
Iowa123922
Calhoun12209
Grundy120226
Jefferson119524
Madison11899
Winnebago118529
Mitchell115734
Louisa114330
Cass112641
Chickasaw110612
Sac110615
Emmet110331
Appanoose109838
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102424
Franklin101618
Shelby101426
Unassigned9160
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82819
Monroe80818
Clarke7847
Pocahontas77211
Ida74030
Davis68921
Greene6887
Adair68620
Lucas6488
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5993
Taylor5919
Fremont5046
Van Buren49412
Decatur4804
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4118
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 14°
Mason City
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 13°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 21°
Austin
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 21°
Charles City
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 13°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events