Dark, stormy nights

LA CRESCENTA — With weather reports forecasting up to 16 inches of rain in the foothills this week, residents didn’t waste in any time Saturday and started prepping their homes for the storms.

Resident John Hanson made the trek from his Briggs Avenue neighborhood to La Cañada Flintridge’s Paradise Valley community to fill up a half-dozen sandbags, which he was going stack outside his home. He has piled sandbags along his driveway to divert water and debris during the storm.

The constant threat of evacuations and devastation from debris flows has kept Hanson alert.

“The reality is the weather experts are right about half of the time,” he said.

While rain pelted the foothills Sunday night, today’s storm is expected to pack a powerful punch, with up to 5 inches of rain, possible thunderstorms tonight and wind gusts approaching 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm could produce heavy downpours of more than an inch per hour, according to the weather service.

A second storm will move in Tuesday, but a stronger storm is expected to hit Wednesday, weather officials said.

The series of storms could bring the wettest week in Southern California since 2005, according to the weather service, potentially causing floods on a scale not seen since that year.

This week’s storms carry the threat of creating “potentially deadly debris flows, especially to the recent burn areas,” and rock slides, according to the weather service.

Weather officials advised residents who live in the burn areas to monitor rain reports.

Hazardous-weather reports prompted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works early Sunday to shut down all county roads in the Station fire area, including Angeles Forest Highway, Big Tujunga Road and Upper Tujunga Road.

County officials said the roads would reopen after the storms’ threat subsided and inspections of damage and debris flows are completed.

County crews drove around the foothills Saturday, inspecting mazes of K-rails, which are concrete dividers designed to divert debris flows.

Earnslow Drive resident Nina Wiktor has already taken precautions to safeguard her home, which sits against a blackened hillside.

Wiktor and her family won’t be evacuating during the storm, she said.

“We are as ready as we can be,” she said.

Isaac Segovia and his crew of seven workers helped residents prepare Saturday, filling 400 sandbags at Two Strike Park in La Crescenta.

They helped about 20 residents load the bags into their cars, even delivering bags to some homeowners.

Segovia, who owns a contracting business in Anaheim, wasn’t accepting money from residents for filling and delivering the sandbags.

He and his crew just wanted to help the residents prepare for this week’s storms.

Segovia said he would rather renovate a home than have to rebuild it after a disaster.

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