Heavy rain has soaked Los Angeles County and was just underway in Orange County and the Inland Empire, with the possibility of flash floods in some areas, authorities said.
By 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14, the heaviest rain in the San Fernando Valley and the LA County’s mountains and foothills had been absorbed, with some areas recording more than three inches of rainfall, Ryan Kittell said Meteorologist with National Weather Service.
Most areas in Los Angeles County had rained from half an inch to an inch and a half at 7 a.m., but the San Fernando Valley had nearly doubled that amount, Kittell said.
Flood monitors were in place on burn scars, including those for the recent Bobcat and Ranch 2 fires over Monrovia and Azusa, Kittell said, adding that those areas were holding up pretty well Tuesday morning as the rain totals were “just below” the trigger point, to trigger a (lightning) warning. “
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Elsewhere in the western part of the Inland Empire there was heavy rainfall while Orange County was seeing the heaviest rainfall of the day, said Dan Gregoria, another NWS meteorologist.
Western Riverside County had received three-quarters of an inch of rain until 7 a.m., while other areas in the Inland Empire and Orange Counties got between a third and a half of an inch, Gregoria said. However, with the heaviest rains imminent and expected to bring in up to six tenths of an inch of rain per hour, Gregoria says meteorologists have flash flood monitoring in place for these entire two regions.
“I would just say, especially for drivers during the morning commute, take it easy,” said Gregoria. “We’re seeing some gusty winds out there, so be extra careful on the road.”
Heavy mudslides from the burn scar to the south are beginning to flood the #LytleCreek Road west of I-15 pic.twitter.com/P7W63cog8r
– Will Lester (@WillLesterPhoto) December 14, 2021
Some snow had fallen at altitudes above 6,000 feet, but estimates were not immediately available.
While snow hadn’t yet affected the grapevine, Gregoria said an inch or two of snow was possible on the mountain pass in the late afternoon or evening.
No major storm-related damage had been reported by local police by 7:30 a.m., but some areas were preparing for possible debris flows.
# Whiter city tree down my street. No injuries. #LArain pic.twitter.com/YPaeV1eNz4
– Grace (@GraceReaza) December 14, 2021
In Monrovia, expectation of mud flow from the burn scars led to an evacuation alert that occurred Monday night in the Ridgeside Drive and Oakglade Drive areas, officials said. Monrovia Canyon Park and Hillside Wilderness Preserve have been closed until further notice. Sandbags were available for residents at Recreation Park, 620 S. Shamrock Ave., officials said.
In Los Angeles, the city’s firefighters tried to pull two vehicles out of the Los Angeles River, firefighters said. The first vehicle is said to have rolled into the river at 5:40 a.m. That vehicle was found on a bridge pillar north of Washington Boulevard in downtown LA at 7:30 a.m. and was still there at 9:00 a.m., officials said.
A second vehicle piled on it in rising water around 10 a.m. No victim was located.
A third vehicle hovered past Washington Boulevard Bridge and continued south under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, fire officials said.
In Sylmar, firefighters pulled a 26-year-old man from a river he fell into near Sylmar High School. Firefighters were able to pull it up through a maintenance hole, officials said. He was treated for mild trauma and mild hypothermia.
The storm led to rockfalls on highways in the San Bernardino Mountains, where the fire department expected debris flows. The San Bernardino County Fire Department has deployed rapid water rescue and urban search and rescue teams in the Oak Glen area, within the fire scar of El Dorado. Some streets have been washed out, said fire department spokesman Eric Sherwin. No major road closures were announced until 9 a.m.
Author Brian Rokos contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Please check again for updates.