6 Feb 2010, 11:57pm
Latest Fire News
by admin

Most evacuations called off after LA-area mudslide

By THOMAS WATKINS, AP, Yahoo News [here]

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) — Thunderous mudslides damaged dozens of homes, swept away cars and pushed furniture into the streets of the foothills north of Los Angeles on Saturday as intense winter rain poured down mountains denuded by a summer wildfire.

No injuries were reported but residents and emergency responders were caught off guard by the unpredicted ferocity of the storm, which damaged more than 40 homes and dozens of vehicles.

Some 540 homes were eventually evacuated at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains after heavy rains overflowed debris basins, carried away cement barricades and filled houses with mud and rocks.

Another 300 homes to the east in Sierra Madre were evacuated for much of the day, but residents were told they could return home Saturday night when another wave of rain proved tame. Flash flood warnings for foothill areas also were called off.

Some residents of La Canada Flintridge complained they were not told to get out until the brunt of the damage was done — unlike during heavy rains last month when officials repeatedly warned foothill communities to be on alert.

The pre-dawn mud flow damaged at least 43 homes, and nine have been declared uninhabitable. … [more]

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