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Burbank readies itself as rainy weather arrives in SoCal

Burbank readies itself as rainy weather arrives in SoCal
Cars splash through rushing water near Olive Avenue and First Street in downtown Burbank in this file photo from Feb. 18, 2017. City officials are warning residents of the Foothills to be prepared for potential mudslides... (File Photo)

As the Southland experiences its first rain of the year, which is expected to intensify around Monday evening, Burbank officials are warning residents in the foothills to be prepared for potential mudslides.

The message primarily concerns communities impacted by September's La Tuna fire in the Verdugo Mountains. With the wet weather predicted to last for the next 48 hours, the city proclaimed the event a local emergency.

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More than an inch of rain is expected to fall in Burbank, according to the National Weather Service.

Ahead of the rainfall, city officials posted temporary no parking signs along Country Club Drive. Hiking trails in parkland burned by the fire were also closed until further notice.

Officials have been preparing for the wet season since November, when engineers from the Los Angeles County of Department of Public Works surveyed the damage done by the La Tuna fire and assessed areas at risk of flooding and mudslides.

Sunset, Stough and Wildwood canyons were all considered to be vulnerable.

Because of the high risk of mudslides, the city issued a voluntary evacuation warning lasting 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday with McCambridge Recreation Center being designated as an evacuation site.

Simone McFarland, a spokeswoman for Burbank, said residents who do not evacuate might become trapped by debris flow or rushing water blocking the roadways, making them unreachable to authorities.

The California Department of Transportation has also done work to help mitigate any debris flow or flooding onto the Foothill (210) Freeway. The department installed concrete barriers and sandbags along slopes that were burned by the fire.

Debris nets were also installed to further help prevent any rubble from getting onto the road.

Those worried about flooding can obtain free sandbags offered by the city's public works department. Residents and businesses get up to 25 bags at Burbank's Field Services Administration Office on 124 S. Lake St.

Bags can be obtained during the weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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