The concern over mudslides shifted to burn areas in Los Angeles and Orange Counties as the storm system that caused deadly flooding in Montecito moved east.
Flood alerts were issued for area burned by recent fires in Anaheim Hills and the canyon near Sylmar.
“Showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected through this evening across Los Angeles County with periods of very heavy rain. Rainfall rates between one half and one inch per hour are possible,” the National Weather Service said in a statement. “Such rain rates are capable of producing flash flooding. Recent burn areas will be especially vulnerable where dangerous mud and debris flows are possible.”
The U.S. Coast Guard’s work in the Santa Barbara County flooding began before sunrise Tuesday, when firefighters asked for help rescuing two people injured in a storm-related house explosion, officials said.
Area roads were buried under mud and blocked by big boulders. So a Coast Guard crew was dispatched about 6:15 a.m. from the Los Angeles/Long Beach base on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter usually used for rescues at sea.
The crew hoisted two people and flew them to Santa Barbara Airport, where they were airlifted to a hospital for their injuries, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer DaVonte Marrow.
Just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, Caltrans worker Demauriel Myles sat in his truck, parked perpendicular across Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Four signs that read “Road closed” formed an impromptu blockade just south of Grand View Drive.
A wave of mud rolled down a hillside in the canyon just after 5 a.m. Tuesday, burying a car and blocking the northbound lane, Myles said. The road was closed in both directions
Caltrans crews had started to dig out the mudslide using a truck with an attached plow, Myles said, but they were proceeding cautiously because Tuesday’s forecast called for more rain throughout the day.
TRAVEL ALERT: Due to flooding in the Terminal 2 customs area, arriving international passengers are being bused to Tom Bradley International Terminal for processing. Until the clean-up is complete, T2 international passengers can be met on the Lower/Arrivals Level at Tom Bradley.
The 101 Freeway was hit hard by flooding and mudslides as heavy rains slammed the Thomas fire burn area Tuesday morning.
The freeway was shut down in both directions for more than 30 miles in the Thomas fire burn area because of flooding and debris flow, spanning an area from Santa Barbara to Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Highway 33 also has been closed between Fairview and Rose Valley roads north of Ojai, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.