‘Parade of Storms’ Raises Fears of Southern California Mudslides

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Emergency officials in Southern California expect up to 3 inches of rain Tuesday night and have told some residents living near wildfire burn scars to leave their homes in case of possible mudslides.

In this photo provided by Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a flash flood area sign is posted, as evacuations have been issued for several fire-ravaged communities in Santa Barbara, Calif., Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. The area is again under threat of flooding and mudslides with a “parade of storms” taking aim beginning Jan. 15, 2019. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

In Malibu and in Santa Barbara County, officers went door-to-door to warn residents of what the Weather Channel has called a parade of storms.

Several wildfires burned through multiple Southern California counties in late 2017, scarring hillsides and wiping out entire neighborhoods in some instances.

Last November, the Woolsey Fire burned nearly 100,000 acres and destroyed over 1,600 structures, including over 400 homes in Malibu.

For residents who returned to intact homes after the wildfires, they’re now being told to leave ahead of Tuesday night’s storm that is expected to cause mud and debris flows, send rockslides across canyon roads and cause possible flooding, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the Creek Fire destroyed over 120 buildings near the Angeles National Forest and while the fire’s footprint is smaller than others, emergency officials cautioned residents to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Forecasters expect this week’s active Pacific jet stream will linger through Thursday, soaking hillsides devoid vegetation due to wildfires.

Meanwhile, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for residents who live near 2017’s Thomas Fire burn scar, which stretches across 280,000 acres. The footprint is also the site of several other fires over the years.

Emergency officials have left radios with residents who refuse to leave, according to reports.    

As California braces for a wet week, the Golden State began 2019 with snowpack measurement at 67 percent of the year-to-date average. Winter storms have knocked the snowpack up to 90 percent of average across the Sierra Nevada range east of the Central Valley.

Closer to Southern California, the Santa Monica Mountains will see 4.5 inches of rain and communities at higher elevations can expect about a foot of snow.

Last week, the Pacific Coast Highway was closed due to a mudslide and north of Los Angeles County Interstate 5 was closed due to snow, stranding motorists on the Tejon Pass.

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