On Thursday, mandatory orders forced the California cities of Glendora and Azusa to evacuate about 1,000 homes as big storms approach and mudslides are expected in areas impacted by the Colby fire, which burned 1,900 acres in January. Los Angeles’ foothill suburbs that sit beneath about 2,000 acres of abrupt mountain could be affected by the upcoming storms, a risk boosted by the fact that 90 percent of the hillside vegetation was burned last month. However, the drought that has been lingering over California will not be ended once the heavy rains hit the state.
Residents of Glendora and Azusa started building barriers of wood and sandbags to keep the water out of homes, and authorities stated that they learned to act quickly and take precautions after the mudslides in 1969 affected 30 houses. Rain began falling Wednesday evening, but Andrew Rorke, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, stated that most of Los Angeles County did not get more than one inch. The California cities of Glendora and Azusa were evacuated as big storms approach and experts mention that heavy rain is expected through Saturday, with one to three inches of rain in the coasts and valleys with three to six inches of rain in the mountains and foothills. Forecasters alerted the population that thunderstorms are also possible and damaging winds, small torrential bursts and even weak tornadoes could accompany the heavy rain.
The California city of Glendora was evacuated as big storms approach and mudslides could affect dozens of houses. Police Chief Tim Staab advised residents to follow the evacuation orders and clear the area of Sierra Madre Avenue between Yucca Ridge Road and Glendora Mountain Road and go to the evacuation center located at the Crowther Center, 241 W. Dawson Avenue.
“We have an hour to get evacuated,” Dana Waldusky, one of Glendora’s inhabitants, said.
Workers have also been creating concrete barriers called K-rails which have the ability the direct the flow of mud and water that comes down the Colby fire burn area.
Chris Jeffers, the city manager of Glendora stated that the risk has increased since 1969’s fire and mudslide, because now “there are 70% to 80% more structures in the danger zone.”
Cities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara were also highly involved in handing out sandbags before the heavy rain that will hit the state, but even with the big storms approaching, the drought which took over California is not likely to stop in the aftermath of the current weather.
Nonetheless, the authorities are prepared and residents are aware of the situation’s gravity.
“This time there’s nothing you can do,” Waldusky said. “You can’t stop water.”
Although the concern is highest in Glendora-Azusa area, meteorologists also stated that other locations are also closely monitored, especially the ones that have been exposed to fires in the last two years.
“Now it’s all homes and so we have a lot more homes in harm’s way, which means more people in harm’s way,” Jeffers said of the upcoming weather prognosis.
The California cities of Glendora and Azusa have already been evacuated as big storms approach and mudslides following last month’s fire could pose a problem for the residents’ safety.
By Gabriela Motroc