Evacuation orders lifted, clean up begins

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Authorities lifted mandatory evacuations orders this morning for hundreds of homes in the foothills, ushering in an all-out clean up effort that for the first time since this past weekend would be able to carry on unimpeded by rain.

A 20% chance of rain this morning was forecasted to give way to mostly sunny skies for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service, giving crews a long stretch of favorable conditions for cleaning out mud-clogged debris catch basins.

Evacuation orders were lifted this morning at 8 a.m. for hundreds of homes in La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge after officials determined the threat of debris flows had passes, said Bob Spencer, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

“The ground remains highly saturated, and fragile, but at this point, we’re not anticipating any debris flows,” he said.

County officials on Tuesday had warned evacuated residents that it could be a while before they’d be allowed to return to their homes, but with the storm leaving the area, “we’re always anxious to get residents back into their homes as quickly as we can,” Spencer said.

Temporary parking restrictions on neighborhood streets were also lifted this morning as a fleet of 300 dump trucks continued to haul debris out of catch basins around the clock, he added.

Much of clean up would center on debris catch basins and muddied streets. There were no major mud incidents reported overnight, Spencer said.

Authorities warned residents to be on the look out for heavy equipment and dump truck traffic as crews take advantage of the dry weather.

The latest storm had produced nearly one inch of rain, bringing the total for the rain season, which runs from July 1 to June 30, to 21.5 inches, said Bob Gregg, a local observer for the county flood control district.

A normal rain season averages 20 inches, meaning any precipitation for here on out would be above normal, he added.

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