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Rain storms drench LCF with 7-plus inches, downing trees and spilling debris

After storms that began Saturday — and brought more than 7 inches of rainfall between Monday and Thursday — city officials reported La Cañada largely fared well, despite isolated incidents of downed trees and the collapse of two retaining walls.

Descanso Gardens, which tracks rainfall, recorded a six-day total of 7.63 inches with 3.82 inches of precipitation recorded on Thursday alone. City of La Cañada Flintridge Public Works Director Pat DeChellis said the city received multiple calls Thursday regarding downed private trees that had fallen onto roads and sidewalks.

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“Considering the amount of rainfall that the city has received over the last several days, we have experienced relatively minor damages,” he said by email Thursday.

City contractor West Coast Arborists cleared fallen trees from Haskell Street, Georgian Road, Figueroa Street and Inverness Drive, while branches were removed from a Dover Road home. DeChellis said a boulder was removed from a portion of Corona Drive, between Inverness and Highland Drive, while a fallen tree on Hampstead Road partially knocked over a power pole.

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In that instance, a Southern California Edison crew came out Thursday morning to clear low-voltage wires that were hanging precariously after the impact, the director confirmed.

Two retaining walls gave way as a result of Thursday’s heavy rains. The backyard wall of a home at 2140 Tondolea Lane sent debris spilling onto an alley off Castle Road, near the Taco Bell at 2151 Foothill Blvd. and reportedly causing the home to be red-tagged by the county.

DeChellis confirmed the county’s Building and Safety division was contacted and a geologist’s study was pending. Another waterlogged wooden wall, on Pasadena’s Wendover Road near the city’s border with La Cañada Flintridge, caused a street closure restricting residents’ access to nearby homes. As of Friday, Pasadena City Hall had been contacted about clearing the obstruction, DeChellis confirmed.

Meanwhile, Devil’s Gate Dam was doing its job, county officials reported, steadily releasing flows from the nearby foothills.

Kerjon Lee, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Public Works Department, said the agency’s Alhambra headquarters recorded 4.23 inches of rainfall over a four-day period and that, as of Friday, Devil’s Gate Dam was releasing about 65 cubic feet of storm water per second.

In the Angeles National Forest 2 miles above La Cañada, a mudslide blocked the road that allows access to the antennae on top of Mt. Lukens, according to frequent Valley Sun contributor Reg Green, who regularly hikes the road. When Green contacted Forest Service engineer Ricardo Lopez to alert him to the blockage, he received an automated reply saying that, due to the federal government shutdown, the man was on furlough: “I will return your message as soon as possible once funding has been restored,” Lopez wrote in the email.

DeChellis advised La Cañada Flintridge residents who may have experienced problems with runoff, mud and debris flows or fallen trees and branches to contact the Public Works Department at (818) 790-8882.

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