Live updates: Strongest storm in years moves through L.A. area


The strongest storm to hit Southern California in several years has brought torrential rain, flash flooding and powerful winds to the area.

  • The storm broke rain records at several locations.
  • An estimated 50,000 Los Angeles residents are without power after winds took down trees and utility lines.
  • Amtrak suspended service between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles because of mudslides in the Santa Barbara area.

Graphic: How much rain fell near you?


Police rescue three from Santa Ana River, find one drowning victim in Thousand Oaks

Santa Ana police officers rescued a mother and her 8-year-old child after they fell into the Santa Ana River on Saturday afternoon, as well as a man who had jumped in to try and save them, police said.

Police were called around 12:30 p.m. to the area of the riverbed by 1st Street, which had filled after the weekend’s powerful storm. They saw three people in the middle of the water, Santa Ana police said in a statement. Four officers jumped in and rescued them.

The mother and child were transported to a hospital as a precaution, and the man was treated at the scene.

At the Arroyo Conejo creek in Thousand Oaks, law enforcement officers rescued three men on Friday afternoon who had to scramble to higher ground when water began filling up the arroyo, Ventura County Sheriff’s Det. Tim Lohman said.

Someone near the tennis courts in the park above the arroyo saw the men and called police around 2:45 p.m., Lohman said. Officers from the Thousand Oaks Police Department, the Ventura County Fire Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department search-and-rescue and aviation units rescued the three men shortly thereafter, Lohman said.

“During the interview with the subjects, we found out that a fourth person was with them who was swept away by the current in the arroyo,” Lohman said.

They searched for the fourth man, in his 20s, until about 8:30 p.m., when they called off the hunt because of weather conditions. Sheriff’s aviation officers resumed the search Saturday, and located a man in the river bottom around 8:45 a.m.; they recovered his body around 11:30 a.m., Lohman said.

Law enforcement officials are not identifying the man until his family is notified, Lohman said.

The area is a common hiking spot, but it’s closed during extreme weather.

“My only guess ... is that they were down in the arroyo, but what ended up happening is that the water surged so much it made it difficult to get out,” Lohman said. “And once the water began to rise it made it difficult for them to get out safely.”

Lohman’s advice to hikers is to stay away from moving water, and remember that the trails in Conejo Park are closed during heavy rain.

“When we have two days of rain like we did ... these rivers or washes or arroyos are unpredictable,” Lohman said. “This swift water can carry somebody away or sweep them off their feet if they get close enough.”


50,000 L.A. residents are still without power, and Amtrak is expected to resume service Saturday night

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Utility crews were still working to restore power to about 50,000 Los Angeles residents as of 2 p.m. Saturday.

“There was a lot of wind, there was a lot of downed wires and that kind of operation does take time, ”said L.A. Department of Water and Power spokeswoman Kim Hughes. “We’re working as quickly ... as possible, with safety in mind.”

More than 82,000 LADWP customers were without power when the storm was at its worst on Friday afternoon, according to an LADWP statement. The department expects most of the remaining customers to get their power back in the next 12 to 24 hours, the statement says.

Meanwhile, Amtrak may resume service between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles on Saturday night after the route was closed Saturday morning.

“Due to mudslides and other weather related factors, we have crews out there now removing debris from the tracks,” Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Justin Jacobs said in an email. “We will follow up with inspections once debris removal is complete to ensure they are safe to resume operations and then hope to restore service. “


Excessive rain and a possible sewer failure probably caused the Studio City sinkhole

(Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP)

A Studio City sinkhole that two cars fell into Friday night “was probably caused by a combination of excessive rain and a possible sewer failure,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

The bureaus of Sanitation, Engineering and Contract Administration removed the cars overnight and started stabilizing the sinkhole on Woodbridge Street at Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Crews are “working to shore up the sinkhole in order to remove debris, assess the situation, and determine next steps,” according to the statement. The repairs may take several days.

The city advises drivers to avoid the area. The following roads are still closed:

  • Laurel Canyon Boulevard, between Moorpark Street and Valley Spring Lane
  • Woodbridge Street, east of Laurel Canyon

According to an account on the LAFD website, firefighters arrived at the sinkhole and found one car upside down in rushing water. The occupant, a 48-year-old woman, was standing on the car about 10 feet below street level.

Firefighters lowered a 20-foot ladder to her, allowing her to climb out, and took her to a hospital in fair condition. En route, she said that while she was driving, she felt the car pitch to the left, then it tumbled into the sinkhole. The airbags deployed, water started coming in and she tried to raise the windows. She was able to open the door and climb on top of the car, where she screamed for help.

She said she thought she was going to die. Then she heard the firefighters yell back to her.

The driver of the second vehicle was able to escape uninjured before it fell.


California 138 in San Bernardino County is closed as Caltrans cleans flood debris

The westbound lanes of California 138 are closed for about 11 miles from the Cajon Pass to California 2 in Pinon Hills, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The eastbound side of Highway 138 is closed from Wagon Train Road, near the Cajon Pass, about nine miles to Summit Valley Road.

Eastbound lanes could open Sunday, although it’s unknown when westbound lanes will open, a CHP official said.


Cleanup contines in Duarte under the watchful eye of a curious Chihuahua


Amtrak suspends service between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo

Amtrak suspended passenger train service on its Pacific Surfliner route between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo on Saturday morning because of mudslides in the Santa Barbara area.

With heavy rain threatening to send water, mud and debris onto tracks, railroad operators were conducting inspections to make sure it was safe to travel, said Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Justin Jacobs.

There is no alternate Amtrak service between L.A. and San Luis Obispo, and around 3 p.m. Saturday, Jacobs said Union Pacific hoped service would resume Saturday evening.

An Amtrak press release directed passengers to the company’s website for its refund and exchange policy.

For the Record

11:56 a.m. Feb. 20: This article has been changed to attribute the news of railroad operators’ track inspections and the effect on rail service to Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Justin Jacobs, not Amtrak spokeswoman Chelsea Kopta, as an earlier version of the article said.


Some Duarte residents stayed home despite evacuation orders

Deputies put up barriers in Duarte Friday afternoon
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times )

Mike Shane started hearing the mud flow down his street on Opal Canyon Road in Duarte on Friday night.

“It sounded like a rushing river,” he said.

But he never considered leaving his home, despite the city’s evacuation orders. He’s lived in the area 17 years and has seen his share of mudslides, he said.

“There’s no need to go,” said Shane as he stood in front of his house Saturday morning and watched trucks scoop up the thin layer of mud that lined his sidewalk. “I want to be here with my house and dog.”

Shane’s neighbor Rochelle Carpio, standing next to him in white and pink pajamas, nodded in agreement.

Carpio and her husband, Yvan, said this storm wasn’t as bad as previous ones but that in general they usually don’t listen to evacuation orders.

The Carpio family dids, however, have an escape car packed with their 4-month-old baby’s essentials and emergency food in case they had to leave immediately.

They said their property was undamaged.

About a block away, Cecilia Cruz was bent over her flowers, lifted the sandbags that had guarded them from Friday’s rains. Her hands and shoes were covered in thick mud as she worked.

Cruz went outside at 7:30 a.m., and didn’t find any damage to her house. Previous mudslides in recent weeks have been worse, said Cruz, who has lived in the area for eight years.

“The tractors do a good job and are able to remove the mud,” she said, pointing to the layer that covered her driveway.

Evacuation orders have now been lifted in Duarte.


Portion of southbound 15 Freeway collapses in the Cajon Pass

A portion of the right lane and shoulder of the southbound 15 Freeway in the Cajon Pass collapsed, taking a fire engine with it.

Two right lanes of the southbound 15 Freeway remain closed near Highway 138 on Saturday after a portion of the roadway collapsed Friday night, sending a fire engine toppling into a creek below.

A crew of three was aboard the engine driving in the right lane around 8:30 p.m. Friday night when they felt the engine’s back tires sinking into the road, said San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Mike McClintock. They evacuated through the driver’s side of the fire engine before the road gave way, taking the truck with it.

The engine was still running and its emergency lights were on as it fell, McClintock said.

The firefighters were transported to a hospital as a precaution, he said, but none were seriously injured.

9:49 a.m.: This post was updated with information from San Bernardino fire and California Highway Patrol officials.


Evacuation orders lifted in Duarte

After a tense day and night of rain and mudflows, the evacuations ordered in the hillside neighborhoods of Duarte have been lifted.

The area saw some mudslides, but there were no reports of major property damage.


5 Freeway in Sun Valley reopens after flooding subsides

(Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

All lanes of the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley are now open after heavy flooding caused a shutdown through early Saturday morning, California Highway Patrol Officer Peter Nicholson said.

The freeway had been closed since late Friday afternoon from Lankershim Boulevard to Sheldon Street.

Crews are still cleaning the remnants of a mudslide on the 210 Freeway in Altadena after heavy rains Friday night.

The mudslide was reported at 5:49 p.m. Friday night, Nicholson said. The Wheatland Avenue entrance and exit ramps were closed, but expected to reopen around 9 a.m, Nicholson said.


Monster storm breaks rain records at several Southern California locations

Santa Barbara Airport, Long Beach and Lancaster were among the places that set new records for the day:


More than 85,000 in Southern California still without power from storm

Utility crews were working to restore power to residents who have lost service during the storm

This morning, the L.A. Department of Water and Power said 57,318 customers were still without power. Southern California Edison said 28,000 customers still didn’t have electricity.


Abandoned cars sit on the flooded 5 Freeway in Sun Valley

(Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

Abandoned cars sit on the flooded 5 Freeway by Lankershim Boulevard in Sun Valley.

See more dramatic photos of the Southland storm >>


Some mighty trees were no match for those winds

From San Diego to Westwood, mighty trees were falling Friday as the storm brought winds that at times topped 80 mph.


All lanes of the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley still closed

Flooding has closed all lanes of the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley from Lankershim Boulevard to Sheldon Street. Alternate route: Highway 170.


All lanes reopen on 110 Freeway in South L.A.

All lanes of the 110 Freeway have reopened in South Los Angeles.

The 110 Freeway flooded Friday at 51st Street, prompting the closure.

3:32 a.m.: This article was updated with details that all lanes of the 110 Freeway are now open.


Firetruck takes a tumble in the Cajon Pass

A lane on Interstate 15 failed at the Cajon Pass on Friday night, leaving a fire engine dangling over the side of the road. Officials said all firefighters got out safely, but the engine eventually went over the side.


Crews working through the night to restore power, but thousands remain in the dark

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Utility crews will work through the night to restore power to 78,200 customers affected by outages, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported late Friday.

Because of the high number of incidents and the intense wind and rain expected to continue through the night, DWP staffers estimate restoration will take 12 to 24 hours, maybe longer for some customers.

Below are the hardest-hit areas, followed by the number of customers without power, as of 10 p.m. Friday:

Chinatown: 2,290 customers

Boyle Heights: 890 customers

East Hollywood: 6,000 customers

Mid-Wilshire: 3,600 customers

Sherman Oaks: 2,600 customers

Larchmont: 3,200 customers

Green Meadows: 4,400 customers

Vermont/Slauson: 2,244 customers

Arlington Heights: 1,871 customers

Harvard Heights: 1,797 customers

Reseda: 3,000 customers

Van Nuys: 3,800 customers

Palms: 3,400 customers

Del Rey: 3,400 customers

Koreatown: 3,500 customers

Hollywood: 1,422 customers

The DWP urged customers to use caution around downed or dangling power lines or poles. If you see a downed wire, always assume it is live and immediately dial 911. Never touch a downed power line or anything that’s touching a downed power line, including water.


Sinkhole swallows two cars in Studio City

Two cars dropped into a 20-foot sinkhole off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City on Friday night, authorities said.

According to an account on the LAFD website, firefighters arrived at the sinkhole and found one car upside down in rushing water. The occupant, a 48-year-old woman, was standing on the car about 10 feet below street level.

Firefighters lowered a 20-foot ladder to her, allowing her to climb out, and took her to a hospital in fair condition. En route, she said that while she was driving, she felt the car pitch to the left, then it tumbled into the sinkhole. The airbags deployed, water started coming in, and she tried to raise the windows. She was able to open the door and climb on top of the car, where she screamed for help.

She said she thought she was going to die. Then she heard the firefighters yell back to her.

The driver of the second vehicle was able to escape uninjured before it fell. Both vehicles are expected to be removed Saturday.

Meanwhile, a fire truck was left teetering off the edge of a highway in the Cajon Pass on Friday night when another roadway collapsed. The truck, perched on the side of Highway 15, wound up falling off the highway a while later, but no one was injured, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

A car sits in a sinkhole on Woodbridge Street near Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City following Friday's rain.
(Michael Owen Baker / For The times)

Body found in submerged vehicle in Victorville

A swift-water rescue in Victorville ended in the recovery of a body from a submerged vehicle, the San Bernardino Fire Department said.

Authorities were called to Pebble Beach and La Paz drives for a report of vehicles swept downstream, the Fire Department tweeted.

Authorities rescued one person from the top of a partially submerged vehicle. A rescue team then entered a vehicle under the water and found a person dead inside.

The person wasn’t immediately identified, and there was no word on the precise cause of death.


Duarte residents look on as mud and rock flows down street; no apparent damage to homes

Austin Fuentes and his mother Susan decided to stay at home on Melcanyon Road in Duarte, which turned out to be directly in the path of a mudslide.

By the early evening they started hearing ominous sounds outside their front door.

“When we started getting heavy rain ... you hear rocks tumbling and water rushing,” he said.

Fuentes’ father and grandparents evacuated and are staying at a hotel tonight.

“My grandparents have heart issues and we felt it was safer for both of them not to be here,” Fuentes said.

The cycle of fire, rain and mudslides is nothing new to residents in the foothill neighborhoods. So far, there did not appear to be any serious damage to homes as a result of the latest flow.

“We’re just crossing our fingers we don’t have to clean up much more mud,” Fuentes said.


Tree slices through house in San Diego


Storm sends mud, rock and other debris flowing down Duarte streets

As heavy rain pounded the foothill community of Duarte on Friday night, mud and rock began slowly coming down Melcanyon Road and Deerlane Drive.

By 7 p.m., the street adjacent to Valley View Elementary School was overflowing with mud, rock and other debris. Homes that lined the street appeared to be unharmed by the slow-moving mudslide thanks to concrete and wood barriers that the city erected after fires made the area vulnerable.


Metrolink riders: Expect delays

Metrolink trains experienced 30-minute to one-hour delays across the system because of Friday’s storm.

Train speeds have been reduced by 20 miles per hour because of widespread flooding across the tracks, spokesman Scott Johnson said. The speed reduction will remain in place for the remainder of tonight’s service, he said.

A handful of incidents along the system required responses earlier in the afternoon. A tree blocked the tracks near the Northridge station and had to be removed to allow travel along the Ventura County line. And flooding along the Antelope Valley line near south San Clemente for a time reduced track speed to 10 miles per hour.

But by about 6:15 p.m., all trains were running, albeit at slower speeds, Johnson said.

Riders are encouraged to visit Metrolink’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about specific lines.


Flooding shuts down 5 Freeway in San Fernando Valley and 110 Freeway in South L.A.

Flooding shut down the 5 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and the 110 in South Los Angeles on Friday, forcing rush hour motorists to seek alternatives to the two transit arteries.

Water pooled more than 2½ feet deep on both sides of the 5 in Sun Valley. The flooding stopped traffic in both directions, just south of the 170 Freeway, said Officer Stephan Brandt of the California Highway Patrol.

“People were going through and getting stuck,” he said.

Television stations showed video of abandoned cars submerged to the top of their hoods in the middle of the freeway.

In the 8600 block of San Fernando Road, 10 vehicles were stuck in the water. More than a dozen firefighters had to rescue at least eight people trapped by the fast moving water, according to the city fire department.

Flooding also blocked traffic on the southbound 110 at Slauson Avenue and the northbound 110 at Vernon Avenue, Brandt said.


Video: Mudflow in the Sand fire burn area in Santa Clarita

Rain triggered a mudflow by a railroad crossing near Lost Canyon and Sand Canyon roads in Santa Clarita.

This video — shot by Jeffrey Bova near a railroad crossing by Lost Canyon and Sand Canyon roads — shows major mudflow Friday afternoon near the Sand fire burn scar in Santa Clarita.

Bova, a Santa Clairta resident and truck driver in the movie industry, said the video shows a support wire for an electrical pole sticking out of the muddy waters.


Union Station jammed; trains delayed by storm

Union Station has been hit hard by the storms.

Metrolink said many trains were being delayed for 30 minutes due to bad weather.


110 Freeway flooded; all lanes blocked at Slauson Avenue

Add the 110 to the traffic nightmare: All lanes blocked at Slauson Avenue in South L.A. due to flooding.


Tree smashes car in Alhambra


Downed power line kills man in Sherman Oaks

A 55-year-old man was shocked and killed by a downed power line on Friday in Sherman Oaks, police said.

The incident occurred just before 1 p.m. on Sepulveda Boulevard, just south of Burbank Boulevard. Police did not immediately identify the man.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to nearly 150 reports of downed wires between noon and 4 p.m. Authorities urged the public to stay away from power lines and avoid touching any person or thing that has come into contact with one.


Flood warning for large swath of L.A. County

The National Weather Service issued flood warning for a large swath of Los Angeles County including Long Beach, Lakewood, southeast L.A, the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, Pasadena and Burbank. The alert lasts through 8 p.m.


Freeways and major roads flooded by rainwater

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )

A powerful storm slammed into Southern California on Friday, creating a miserable evening commute.

Among the freeways and roads flooded:

  • 101 Freeway at Seacliff in Ventura County
  • 405/90 Freeway interchange in West L.A.
  • 5 Freeway near Sheldon Street in Sun Valley
  • Highway 33 in Ojai
  • Portions of Highway 138 in Antelope Valley

Mudslides? Been there, done that, one Duarte teenager says

For 18-year-old Noah Renella, the threat of mudslides outside his home in Duarte has become too common to freak him out.

Renella lives with five other family members in a home across the street from Valley View Elementary School and said his house has been caught in the middle of recent mudslides.

Still, Renella said, he isn’t worried. Previous mudslides caused damage to his car, but he didn’t think this storm was strong enough to cause as much havoc.

Renella said that on Thursday night, police officers notified neighbors that their area would be under an evacuation order. But his family decided to stay put.

“The worst is over, it doesn’t seem too bad this time because we have barricades,” he said.


Tree down on Huntington Beach restaurant


Potentially the strongest storm to hit Southern California in years knocks out power to 50,000

A powerful storm with strong wind gusts caused widespread power outages, affecting more than 50,000 people on Friday afternoon.

Southern California Edison reported that about 22,500 customers were without power across its service area.

The utility said crews were working to restore power. They were also monitoring areas for fallen debris.

In Los Angeles, 28,000 customers were affected by power outages, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“The most frequent causes of power outages during heavy rain storms are downed trees, dried palm fronds, tree branches from trees on both private and public property falling and making contact with power lines,” the department said. “This can result in extended outages as trees often need to be removed before our crews can begin restoration work.”


Nightmare L.A. commute as strong storm causes widespread road flooding

The storm was causing widespread flooding on roads and freeways across Southern California.

This was making for a nightmare afternoon commute, with many transition roads and off- and on-ramps flooded.

The 101 Freeway was closed in northern Ventura County.


The start of your commute home from downtown Los Angeles


16 college students evacuated after tree falls into apartment building near UCLA

More than a dozen college students were evacuated from an apartment building in Westwood on Friday afternoon after a 75-foot tree toppled onto the roof.

The incident occurred at 12:14 p.m. in the 600 block of South Kelton Avenue, said Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. No one was injured.

The large tree fell into the six-unit apartment building near UCLA and nearly hit a resident laying in bed, he said. The tree landed three inches from the resident.

Four units were deemed unsafe to live in, Scott said.

He said 16 college students were evacuated as a precaution.


Eight people people rescued from rain-swollen Sepulveda Basin

Eight people who were stranded in the Sepulveda Basin’s rain-swollen water were rescued by the Los Angeles Fire Department’s swift-water rescue team on Friday afternoon, officials said.

Three people were in the water and five others trapped in the basin just after 2 p.m., said Capt. Daniel Curry.

“We used a rope system to access them and an inflatable boat,” he said.

One person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Curry said he believed the group may have been homeless.

He urged people to remain home and to call 911 if they see downed power lines, knocked over by strong winds.

“This is a very strong storm,” he said. “It’s better for people to stay inside.”

Burbank Boulevard was closed between Hayvenhurst Avenue and the 405 Freeway.


Malibu-area beaches impacted by street closures; beach advisory issued

Several road closures were impacting Malibu-area beaches Friday afternoon as a massive rainstorm slammed into Southern California.

The entrance to Point Dume State Beach was closed, as was the Pacific Coast Highway underpass to Zuma Beach, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division. The Zuma Beach exit to Westward Beach Road was closed, as was Escondido Access Way at Pacific Coast Highway, officials said.

The county Department of Beaches and Harbors was distributing free filled sandbags Friday afternoon, at a limit of 10 per person, at multiple locations, including Will Rogers State Beach (near the Temescal Canyon entrance), three locations near Venice Beach, Dockweiler Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance Beach.

Health officials issued a beach-use advisory for all L.A. County beaches. Coastal visitors were cautioned to be careful when swimming, surfing and playing in ocean waters near discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers.

“Bacteria, debris, trash and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to enter ocean waters through these outlets,” Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim health officer, said in a statement.

Beach areas that were not near discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers are exempt from the advisory, which will be in effect until at least 2 p.m. Monday.


Video captures big storm surge at Newport Pier

With a powerful storm battering Southern California, lifeguards captured the storm surge moving into Newport Beach on video.

Officials have warned of coastal flooding and high surf due to the storm, forecast to be the strongest in years.

Some beaches have been closed.


Watch ‘explosive’ landslide the size of 3 football fields plummet down a San Bernardino County mountain

San Bernardino County firefighters captured the moment a massive landslide the length of three football fields crumbled down the mountain on Thursday.

The 1:05-minute video shows a large swath of snow, rock, soil and timber slide off a San Bernardino County mountainside. The debris then traveled into a valley below.

The landslide is 300 yards wide and extends 1,000 feet from top to bottom in the Slide Canyon area, fire department spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

Sherwin said the landslide is threatening four homes and a fire station in the unincorporated community of Forest Falls. It also could impact Valley Of The Falls Drive — a major road for residents living in the area.

The blockage could trap a couple hundred residents for several days, he said.

When firefighters first discovered the landslide about 10 a.m. Thursday, Sherwin said, it was “explosive,” and chunks of debris were falling.

Although the landslide is now controlled, firefighters worry Friday’s storm could have an impact on the area.


Rain, wind hit Long Beach area

(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Keith Williams ties down his homeless camp along the L.A. River in Long Beach as rain and high winds batter the area.


In Duarte, most who were ordered to evacuate are staying put, authorities say

The city of Duarte on Friday ordered the mandatory evacuation of about 180 homes ahead of a powerful rainstorm -- but Alex Alarcon decided to stay put.

He had planned to leave. He left work early Friday morning and prepared to spend the night at a hotel with his wife, two children and dogs.

But he decided against evacuating when he noticed around 1 p.m. that the rain wasn’t coming down as hard as he initially thought it would.

Alarcon lives near Larkhall Avenue and Deerlane Drive -- near Valley View Elementary School, where classes were canceled for the day. His neighborhood was just recently hit by a mudslide amid a January rainstorm.

“I had mud sticking to the sidewalk right near my house,” he said Friday afternoon as a light rain fell on his baseball camp.

But he wasn’t worried about Friday’s storm. He and his family felt content staying in the area, where they’ve lived for about six years.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s official who was going door to door in the evacuated neighborhood said most people decided to simply stay indoors rather than leave their homes. Those who remained were asked to sign a waiver.

Concrete barriers were being set up Friday near houses in Duarte to protect them from potential mudslides.

The evacuations were ordered for homes near the Fish fire burn scar. The boundaries for the evacuations are Brookridge Road on the north and east, Greenbank Avenue on the west and Royal Oaks Drive on the south.

National Weather Service forecasters said throughout the day that the bulk of the rainstorm would not reach Los Angeles County until Friday afternoon -- just in time for the evening commute.

Rain could fall at a rate of an inch an hour at that point, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist for the weather service in Oxnard.


Person may have been shocked after downed tree crushes power line

The Los Angeles Fire Department was responding to dozens of reports Friday of downed power lines, including one instance in which a person possibly suffered electric shock.

The incident occurred at 12:43 p.m. in the 5300 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, fire department spokesman Erik Scott.

Few details were available, but Scott said a large tree toppled onto power lines and landed on a vehicle.

It is unclear whether the victim was inside the vehicle, he said.

Firefighters turned off the power and cleared an area to rescue the victim, who was in serious condition and taken to a hospital, Scott said.


Strongest storm in years taking aim at Southern California

A storm that officials said could be the strongest in years moved into Southern California on Friday.

A storm that officials said could be the strongest in years moved into Southern California Friday.

Heavy rain caused mudslides, flooding and jammed roads by early afternoon, with the brunt of the storm still yet to hit the region. The 101 Freeway was closed in northern Ventura County due to flooding.

The storm is expected to dump up to 6 inches of rain on Los Angeles County beaches and valleys and 5 to 10 inches on south-facing foothills and coastal mountain slopes, according to the National Weather Service. A flash flood watch has been issued for Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties from Friday morning through Saturday morning.

Much of that rainfall is expected to fall within a short time Friday afternoon and evening, with rain potentially falling at a rate of more than an inch an hour, forecasters said.

“The Friday morning commute is definitely going to be wet,” but the rain is just going to get heavier as the day progresses, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“The afternoon commute is going to be a mess,” Hoxsie said. “Hopefully people can take a half day off. Being a Friday, I know a lot of people do that anyway. … The evening is shaping up to be nasty.”

The storm is likely the strongest to hit the region within the last six years, according to the weather service.

Wildfire burn scars in Duarte and Azusa are particularly vulnerable with this storm, she said.

The system also is bringing powerful southerly winds that will increase dramatically on Friday, with gusts up to 60 to 70 mph likely over high elevations in Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles counties, as well as the Channel Islands and Santa Catalina Island, according to the weather service. Damaging wind gusts are also possible in the Antelope Valley.

“It’s going to be blowing really well,” Hoxsie said. “We’re trying to tell folks, don’t just do your usual preparation for rain, but also, if you’ve got anything outside that could be moved into the garage, this would be the storm where you should do that.”

Snow levels are anticipated to be at 8,000 feet Friday night, lowering to 6,000 feet on Saturday, according to the weather service. Because of the heavy precipitation, 1 to 2 feet of snow could fall above 8,000 feet in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and 6 to 12 inches are possible above 6,000 feet.

Coastal waters will be dangerous Friday night and through the weekend, Hoxsie said. Swells of 6 to 9 feet are expected off the coast of Los Angeles County on Thursday, and the waves are expected to peak Saturday at 8 to 13 feet, she said.

After a brief respite Sunday, another storm system is expected to move into the region early next week, bringing several more days of rain, forecasters said.

“The storm door stays open for a while,” Hoxsie said.

The storm is part of a warm “atmospheric river.”

“It’s arriving now. It’s on our doorsteps,” meteorologist Kurt Kaplan said before 6 a.m. “It will be in Ventura in an hour…in Los Angeles probably during rush hour.”

The Central Coast was hit hard overnight, with some spots recorded we over an inch of rain.

Evacuation warnings have been issued for a swath of Santa Barbara County that was burned by the Shepa fire.

About 180 homes in Duarte were also under evacuation orders, again due to possible mudslides from area burned during brush fires.


Northbound 101 closed after mud washes over lanes north of Ventura


‘Move to higher ground!’ National Weather Service issues flash flood warning for parts of Santa Barbara County

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning until 3 p.m. for communities above the city of Santa Barbara.

The warning covers communities along the Gibraltar Reservoir, Old Man Mountain, the Santa Ynez River, Highway 154 near San Marcos Pass as well as areas scorched by the last year’s Rey fire.

The weather service advised residents to “Move to high ground!”

“A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring,” the weather service said in a statement. “If you are in the warned area, move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.”


Taking it all in

"I love this weather,” said Basil Bailey of Belmont Shore, taking pictures of the incoming storm Friday in the gusty winds at the Seal Beach Pier.
(Stuart Palley / For The Times)

Knott’s Berry Farm closes amid stormy weather

The Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park closed Friday because of a powerful winter storm moving through Southern California that was expected to bring torrential rain and flooding to the region.

People who bought entry tickets for Friday may contact the park regarding refunds, Knott’s said in a statement.

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, meanwhile, remained open, though officials told the Orange County Register they were monitoring the situation.

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is open only on weekends in February.


National Weather Service issues flood advisory for Los Angeles County

A flood advisory has been issued for Los Angeles County until 6:15 p.m. today as heavy rain moves through the area.

The National Weather Service reported that up to a half-inch of rain per hour was falling across western portions of the county.

“With the rainfall expected to intensify this afternoon, rainfall rates will likely increase to one-half to one inch per hour,” the weather service said.

Heavy rainfall can cause flooding on city streets and mud flows in areas recently scorched by wildfires. Rivers and streams will likely rise quickly, according to the weather service.

The weather service warned: “Stay away from washes, streams, culverts and rivers. Avoid driving through canyons as rock and debris flows are a good possibility.”

A flash flood watch will remain in effect through Saturday.


Here’s a look at the highest wind gusts in the last 6 hours across Southern California

As a powerful winter storm continues to move through Southern California, gusts reached up to 81 mph in Los Angeles County mountains Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

In the past six hours, forecasters observed strong winds across Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The southerly winds have downed trees in several locations. In Goleta, a large eucalyptus crushed a carport and damaged vehicles, according to the Santa Barbara Fire Department.

Here are some of the strongest winds across Southern California:

Los Angeles County

· 81 mph in Mill Creek in the Angeles National Forest

· 75 mph in Grass Mountain in the Lake Hughes area

· 70 mph in Sandberg

· 68 mph at Chilao Campground in the Angeles National Forest

· 63 mph in Lake Palmdale

· 62 mph in Topanga

· 56 mph at the Catalina Airport

· 55 mph at Saddle Peak

· 50 mph in the Newhall Pass

· 49 mph in Saugus

· 47 mph in Malibu Hills and Acton

· 49 mph in Torrance

· 37 mph at Mt. Wilson

· 36 mph in Santa Monica

· 34 mph in Glendale

· 33 mph at the Los Angeles International Airport

· 32 mph at Van Nuys Airport and in Granada Hills and Altadena

Santa Barbara County

· 65 mph at Santa Rosa Island

· 63 mph at Rancho Tepusquet in Santa Maria

· 48 mph in Santa Ynez

· 59 mph in the Lompoc Hills

· 57 mph at Point Arguello

Ventura County

· 63 mph at Boney Mountain

· 55 mph at Decker Canyon Road

· 54 mph at Point Mugu


Golfers take cover during second round at Genesis Open

Golfers take cover from the rain during the second round of the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades on Friday.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Storm brings up to 1 inch of rain an hour in Santa Barbara, Ventura counties

While rain was beginning to move into Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties were being pounded by the storm sweeping Southern California today.

The National Weather Service reported that hourly rain totals topped 1 inch in some areas. A flash flood advisory was in effect until 6:15 p.m. for Ventura County.

High winds downed trees in several locations, and several schools as the powerful weather system roared through.


L.A. will see heaviest rainfall just in time for the evening commute

A strong storm moving into the Southland on Friday will peak in the Los Angeles area in the afternoon and evening hours, right on time for the evening commute, according to the National Weather Service.

Santa Barbara and Ventura counties received rainfall rates of up to an inch an hour early Friday, forecasters said.

“The afternoon commute is going to be a mess,” said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “Hopefully people can take a half day off. Being a Friday, I know a lot of people do that anyway. … The evening is shaping up to be nasty.”

The storm is likely the strongest to hit the region within the last six years, according to the weather service.


Strong winds and rain uproot large tree in Goleta that crushes carport, vehicles

A large eucalyptus tree toppled onto a carport and damaged cars in Goleta on Friday, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The incident occurred in the 400 block of Ellwood Drive, fire officials said. No one was injured.

According to the University of California’s Tree Failure Report Program, there have been 5,902 tree or tree branch “fails” since 2010 in California.

Of those, 23.2% involved oak trees, 17.1% were pine trees and 12.6% were eucalyptus.


Horse races and Black History Month Parade canceled ahead of rainstorm

A major storm moving into the Southland has prompted officials to cancel Friday horse races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia and Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress.

Santa Anita park officials canceled a live eight-race card and closed the park for simulcast wagering because of possible unsafe road conditions.

The park is expected to be open for live racing over the three-day Presidents Day weekend.

All live races at Los Alamitos Race Course scheduled for Friday have been canceled.

Pasadena officials announced that the city’s annual Black History Month Parade, which was to take place Saturday, is canceled. Officials said they took possible lightning strikes into consideration.

“The public’s safety, including those who would watch the parade and the parade participants, was the deciding factor to cancel the parade,” the city said in a statement.

City officials are seeking to re-schedule the parade.


Building mud barricades in Duarte


Landslide in San Bernardino County mountains threatens homes, fire station and major road

A landslide the size of three football fields in the San Bernardino County mountains is threatening several homes, a fire station and a major road used by hundreds of residents, fire officials said.

Four homes and a San Bernardino County fire station in the unincorporated community of Forest Falls are directly in the path of the hillside, which started moving about 10 a.m. Thursday, fire department spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

Two homes were vacant, and residents in the other two homes have voluntarily evacuated. Fire officials have removed equipment from the station to protect it from damage, he said.

The landslide is 300 yards wide and extends 1,000 feet from top to bottom in the Slide Canyon area, according to Sherwin.

Like a glacier, pieces of the hillside have been slowly breaking off and dropping into a drainage below.

“It’s a lot of material,” he said, “but it has a long time to come down.”

But firefighters worry that Friday’s powerful storm could hasten the process.

If the hillside — a mixture of snow, rock, soil and timber — travels down, it will spill onto Valley Of The Falls Drive — a major road for residents living in the area. The blockage could trap a couple of hundreds of residents for several days, Sherwin said.

The San Bernardino County road crews were placing concrete barriers along the drive to help divert mud and debris, he said.

Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued a reverse 911 call Thursday evening to residents in the area, warning them of the landslide, Sherwin said.


Southwest cancels flights in and out of Southern California

A plane takes off from John Wayne Airport.
A plane takes off from John Wayne Airport.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Southwest Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights in and out of California on Friday amid an atmospheric river sending powerful winds and rain across the state.

About 250 of the airline’s flights to or from Burbank, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and San Diego, among others, were canceled Friday, an airline spokesperson said.

American Airlines also canceled a host of flights to and from Orange County, and the aviation website reported 48 cancelations at LAX.

The parade of storms is expected to be heaviest in Southern California, but several inches of rain also could drop in the mountains and foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, the National Weather Service said.


As rains approach, evacuations ordered in burn areas

Evacuation warnings have been issued for a swath of Santa Barbara County that was burned by the Sherpa fire.

About 180 homes in Duarte also were under evacuation orders, again because of possible mudslides from an area burned during brush fires.


Weather expert: 10 trillion gallons of rain to fall on California in a week’s time

It’s difficult to calculate the amount of rainfall the entire state of California will have received by next week. But one weather expert has offered an estimate: 10 trillion gallons.

Ryan Maue, a Georgia-based meteorologist for WeatherBell Analytics, used forecast data from the National Weather Service to predict that an average of 3.3 inches of rain will fall across the state from Feb. 15 to Feb. 22.

“That’s a very large number compared to previous winters and especially compared to the previous year,” Maue said.

Maue cautioned that the numbers include the entire area of the state and that some areas obviously will see more precipitation as storms move in.

“The rainy season has been crazy in California, with multiple atmospheric river events directing moist onshore flow and precipitation along the mainly central and northern coasts while SoCal has been left out,” he said in an email. “Clearly that’s going to change.”

Ten trillion gallons of water is enough to fill 15.1 million Olympic-sized swimming pools or power Niagara Falls for 154 days.

Maue also estimated that 10 trillion gallons fell on the state in December 2014.


Central Coast sees substantial rainfall

The brunt of today’s major storm moving on Southern California has not hit Los Angeles County yet, but the weather system has already produced significant rainfall along the Central Coast.

Here are some 24-hour rain totals from the National Weather Service:

San Marcos Pass: 1.67 inches

Refugio Pass: 1.57

Rocky Butte: 1.54

Lompoc: 1.44

Solvang: 1.40

Ygnacio Ridge: 1.37

Buellton: 1.19

Sudden Peak: 1.14

Los Prietos: 1.10


Several winter shelters across L.A. to remain open for homeless during storm

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has temporarily extended its hours at several winter shelters across the county during the latest powerful storm.

Shelters opened from 5 p.m. Thursday and will operate continuously until 7 a.m. Sunday.

The Lancaster shelter will be open for 24 hours Friday. In La Puente, Bassett Park will maintain a temporary daytime shelter from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The winter shelters provide food and access to housing assistance and supportive services for the homeless during the winter, according to the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles city-run agency. More than 1,400 beds are available at shelters across Los Angeles County.

The shelters will resume normal operations after the storm ends.

For more information on the shelters, visit Winter Shelter Program or its hotline at (800) 548-6047 or call 211.

These shelters will remain open through Sunday:

  • Highland Park
  • Pomona
  • Santa Clarita
  • Skid row
  • West Los Angeles
  • South Los Angeles
  • Sylmar
  • Long Beach
  • Bell

Storm will bring dangerous sea conditions and gale-force winds, forecasters say

A major storm moving into the Southland on Friday is expected to bring dangerous marine conditions and gale-force winds, forecasters said.

The winds are predicted to create “very steep seas” and waves over 10 feet, according to the morning forecast from the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Steep seas will last through the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a high likelihood of widespread, strong gale-force southeast winds on Friday, with a 40% chance that they will exceed storm-force, at over 48 knots. Channels and passages between islands will likely see even greater gusts.

Dangerous breaking waves and rip currents are expected near shorelines, and forecasters say there is a good chance of thunderstorms forming over coastal waters through early Saturday.

A high-surf advisory is in effect along the coasts in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties until 10 p.m. Saturday. Breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet are expected Friday, and waves of 10 to 14 feet are expected Saturday. Surf will be largest on west-facing beaches.

Large breaking waves, the weather service warned, can wash people off beaches or rocks, capsize small boats near the shore, cause beach erosion and create dangerous swimming conditions.


Mandatory evacuations and school closure ordered in Duarte

The city of Duarte ordered the mandatory evacuation of about 180 homes near the Fish fire burn scar early Friday, ahead of a storm that is expected to bring heavy rain, flooding and mud flow to the region.

The boundaries for the evacuations are Brookridge Road to the east, Greenbank Avenue to the west, Royal Oaks Drive to the south and Brookridge Road to the north.

Valley View Elementary School on Melcanyon Road will be closed Friday, and city trash collection in the area has been postponed until Monday morning. Residents have been asked not to put trash cans on the street until 7 a.m. Monday.

Officials said the storm is expected to cause mud and debris flows worse than those in January along Melcanyon Road and adjacent streets, when 2,800 cubic yards of mud were brought down the hillside.

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at the Duarte Community Center at 1600 Huntington Drive. It will remain open until mandatory evacuation orders are lifted.

Workers have been cleaning debris basins in the area since Wednesday to accommodate the expected mudflow, the city said in a statement.

Filled sandbags are available at Mountaincrest and Brookridge Road. Unfilled sandbags and sand are available at the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Station 44, at 1105 Highland Ave.


Monster storm could dump record-setting rain across Southern California

What forecasters say may be the strongest storm in years could dump record-setting rain across Southern California and Los Angeles.

The storm, part of a warm “atmospheric river,” is swollen with moisture and poised to pour rain onto burn-scarred areas in local mountains and foothills.

“It’s arriving now. It’s on our doorsteps,” meteorologist Kurt Kaplan of the National Weather Service said just before 6 a.m. “It will be in Ventura in an hour … in Los Angeles probably during rush hour.”

Between two and six inches of rain can be expected to fall over the next 24 hours, depending on the area, with some seeing rainfall at a pace of an inch an hour -- the kind of isolated, heavy downpour that can send mud and debris flows cascading into neighborhood streets.

“This will be the worst we’ve had in a while,” Kaplan said. “Today is the worst of it.”

High surf and high winds are also forecast.

Ventura could see five inches or rain, forecasters said, and Pasadena nearly that amount. Voluntary evacuations were issued for Ventura County early Friday.


Here’s the latest rain forecast


With big storm coming, here’s how to stay safe

With the big storm coming, here are some basic storm tips from the Los Angeles Fire Department:

Ensure that your drains, gutters and downspouts are clean and functioning properly. This is especially important for flat-roofed buildings.

Keep stormwater troughs, pipes and culverts on your property free of debris.

Move valuable or easily damaged items away from low-lying areas prone to flooding.

Secure trash containers, household waste, chemical spills and outdoor storage before they are swept away, spread contamination or block storm drains.

Closely examine windows, skylights and doors that may benefit from caulking or weatherstripping.

Inspect your attic for “leaks” of sunlight, or signs of previous water damage that may indicate where pre-storm repairs are needed.

Establish household supplies (bucket, mop, towel and tarpaulin) to minimize damage from a sudden leak or stormwater seepage.

Prepare your household to remain safe (battery powered lamps, no candles) and functional (fully charged cellphone, manual garage door operation) in the event of a storm-related power outage.

Review how to safely turn off your home’s electric, water and natural gas service in the event of severe storm damage.

Put the Flood Safety and other free mobile apps from the American Red Cross on your smartphone.

Discuss your family emergency plan, including what every member of the family will do in the event of a flood or mudslide.

Prepare an emergency supply kit that includes food, water, medications, flashlight, battery-powered radio, rain gear and first aid supplies.

Gather and safely store important documents to take with you in case of evacuation.

Confirm out-of-state family contacts so that friends and relatives can determine your location and status.

Consider the safety of those with disabilities or access and functional needs.

Plan for the needs of pets at home and if you are evacuated.

Identify multiple safe routes from your home or workplace to high ground and practice your evacuation plan.

Have sturdy, sensible shoes with nonskid soles for use in a rainstorm. Pack an umbrella, small flashlight and rain coat.

Check your car’s wipers, lights, tire inflation and tread wear to assure safe operation, and keep your vehicle fueled in case power is cut off to local fueling stations.

Be prepared to monitor local news for official warnings, evacuation orders and the status of streets, highways and transit systems.

Be aware of local driving laws, and how to operate your vehicle safely or use public transit in conditions altered by weather.

Lower the level of your swimming pool to prevent overflow and flooding.

Determine if your home is located in a flood hazard or landslide prone area.

Landscape slopes with plants that are fire retardant, water wise, suitable for erosion control and allow for smart water retention or reuse. Consider the temporary use of plastic sheeting on slopes prone to erosion.

Large trees that could threaten your home should be examined by a certified arborist. Confirm that any hillside on your property has been evaluated by a licensed soil engineer.

If necessary, consult an engineer or licensed contractor to design or build permanent water and debris control systems for your property.

Contact your insurance agent to assure that your flood and storm coverage is adequate and in effect. Confirm the 24-hour contact, policy and claim filing numbers for your insurer(s). Place that information in your mobile phone and keep a printed copy in the glove box of your car.

Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, hand tools and other materials handy for addressing additional stormwater issues.