Officials report storm conditions 'calm' in La Cañada

Despite the storm, everything was quiet in La Cañada as of Friday afternoon, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Capt. Robert Taylor of Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 82 said that the department had increased staff and patrols earlier that morning to be safe and would likely remain on alert throughout the storm’s duration.

“We just beefed up our manning for the 24-hour period, and we may need more,” he said. “If they see more rain lingering, then they’ll extend the staffing tomorrow.”

Patrol trucks were seen traveling up and down sections of Foothill Boulevard. One truck concentrated on Ocean View Boulevard in the morning hours, checking side streets for signs of trouble.

Employees with the city's Public Works department were also patrolling the area and clearing storm drains of fallen tree limbs and leaves.

Crew leader Richard Lopez said the department worked all through the early morning to make sure roadways were clear.

"We've had a crew out since midnight, working until noon," he said, adding that the heavy rain began around 3 a.m. that morning.

Additionally, Public Works employees placed sand bags along Ocean View Boulevard, and stockpiled more for possible future use, Lopez said.

Despite some minor rock slides along Angeles Crest Highway, and scattered rocks on Jessen Drive and Haskell Street, no major soil upsets were visible in residential areas Friday morning.

Some debris flow off Foothill Boulevard at Rosebank Drive was covering a section of the sidewalk but had been marked off with wooden barricades supplied by the County Public Works Department.

Taylor attributed the relative calm, in part, to the vegetation re-growth in the foothills area since the 2009 Station Fire.

The concern at the moment, he added, was for Glendora, where the Colby Fire burned more than 1,900 acres of hillside land in late January. The area is calling for voluntary evacuation due to the encroaching threat of mudslides.

Taylor said locally, the Fire Department was working together with the Sheriff’s Department and the city’s Public Works Department to keep at-risk roads and neighborhoods clear of debris.

“Public Works is staying on top of things and keeping everything clear,” he said. “That’s helping us.”

Fire Station 82, located at 352 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, is currently supplying free sand bags to local homeowners.

Around 12 p.m. on Friday, La Cañada resident Mike Boshard was picking up a few bags for good measure. Earlier that morning, he discovered the drain of his Del Monte Road home had clogged and was sending water into his garage.

"When I opened the garage door, water just went into the garage," said Boshard, who spent three hours unclogging his drain. "Because it's supposed to really rain, I wanted to get two or three sand bags by the garage so I don't have to clean up anymore water."

-- Sara Cardine,

Follow Sara on Twitter: @SaraCardine


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