Essential California: The devastation from Northern California's firestorms comes into grim focus

L.A. rain: Evacuations lifted in some foothill communities

Mandatory evacuations have been lifted in two foothill communities threatened by mudslides below wildfire-ravaged areas.

Glendora residents were allowed to return home Sunday when an evacuation order was lifted at 6 a.m. The 2,000-acre Colby fire in the San Gabriel Mountains in January left some neighborhoods vulnerable to flooding and mudslides.

Rain-related parking restrictions were still in effect, and residents were directed to move vehicles, trash bins and other obstructions from the streets.

Mandatory evacuations were lifted in Monrovia at 6 p.m. Saturday. But debris flows down the mountain and erosion are still possible in parts of the city, officials warned. By Saturday night, Monrovia had received 4.5 inches of rain over two days, according to the city.

As of 7:30 a.m. Sunday, evacuations were still in effect for the Ridge View Drive area of Azusa, and precautionary measures were advised for the Mountain Cove community.

California 39 remained closed “due to a safety issue with a K-rail, and excessive mud on the roadway,” according to the Azusa Police Department. Residents in Mountain Cove were advised to stay in their homes should the road become blocked with debris, mud or rocks.

As the storm moves out of the Los Angeles area, there was still a light chance of scattered showers, but nothing significant, said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Some light showers this evening will be the last rain through the upcoming week and will give way to a nice warming trend, he said.

As for the Oscars, those strolling down the red carpet won’t need to run for cover Sunday night. It will be a bit chilly, but “if anything falls from the sky, it will be light sprinkles at worst,” Thompson said.

"A couple of days ago, it would have been a disaster,” he said. 

The latest storm, the largest since December 2010, helped put an end to an unusually long wildfire season and to ease the three-year drought conditions plaguing the state, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. He said it would bring the Los Angeles region to about half its normal rainfall for the season; it started the week at just 10% of normal.

"This is no drought-buster, but it's a nice, fat down payment" in the water bank, Patzert said.

As of Saturday evening, the storm had dropped more than 3 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles, nearly 4.5 inches in Van Nuys and almost 12 inches at Cogswell Dam in the Angeles National Forest, according to the National Weather Service

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation to free up the state's water supplies and to help residents who face hardship because of the drought. Also, parched Sierra Nevada ski resorts got a dose of snow, enabling them to open some previously bare runs and adding to an unusually low snowpack, a major source of the state's water.


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