Flash flood watch in effect for parts of Southern California

The remnants of Tropical Storm Kay brought flash flooding to parts of Southern California on Monday as mud and debris torrents raged in three San Bernardino County communities.

City search and rescue teams and firefighters went “street by street and house by house” searching in Oak Glen, Forest Falls and Angelus Oaks for trapped or injured people, said San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Captain Jeremy Kern.

There are a number of hazards in the area and several power and gas lines have been affected, he said.

The authorities demanded front loaders, excavators and all-wheel drive fire engines, Kern said. 25 firefighters were deployed to the incident.

The mud and debris flows were the latest in a series of ongoing effects from the now weakened storm.

“We still have a day to get over the potential for serious flooding and after that we should be free at home,” Dave Bruno, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said Monday.

Thunderstorms had been developing in the foothills of Antelope Valley early Monday afternoon, and more storms were expected for other areas in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Storms were expected to be slow-moving and produce heavy downpours.

A creek bed filled with mud, rocks and debris in a mountainous area

Mud and debris fill Oak Creek Monday after heavy rains in the San Bernardino National Forest.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The weather service forecast approx Chance of rain 40% in Hemet where the Fairview fire erupted last week. The fire had burned 28,307 acres as of Monday morning and was 53% contained, according to an incident report from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Riverside County Fire Department. Much-needed rainfall from Tropical Storm Kay, which churned off the coast of Southern California last week, helped slow the spread of the fire but also presented some challenges.

A tan briefing on Monday morningJustin McGough, Cal Fire’s Fairview branch manager for fire days, said rain began around 2 p.m. Sunday, including torrential downpours over Gibbel Flats, Avery Canyon and in the Batista Canyon area, with flooding and mudslides affecting the roads in those areas, overcast and hampering some firefighting efforts for about four hours, until roads reopened. One home had minor flooding and damage to the garage, McGough said.

At the end of a wild week of weather for Southern California, a satellite image revealed an unusual sight: a giant tropical cyclone swirling across the Southland.

That satellite imagecaptured Saturday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite showed Tropical Storm Kay hovering off the coast of Southern California and Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Though Kay never landed in the state, “it was certainly closer than anything we’ve ever been in as far as I can remember,” said Mike Wofford, a weather forecaster with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Wofford said it would be some time before officials analyzed the full extent of the storm, including its ultimate size and cumulative impact. But Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist with the San Diego Weather Service, said, “It’s not unreasonable to say that the impacts covered an area 1,000 miles wide.”

NOAA satellite photo of Tropical Storm Kay over southern California

Tropical Storm Kay, which swept over the region on Saturday, never made landfall in California but brought notable winds and rain.


Rain lashed southern California on Sunday, setting rainfall records and resulting in dangerous road conditions and flood damage. Cal State San Bernardino’s campuses in San Bernardino and Palm Desert were closed Monday due to extensive flood damage, although key employees were called to work. The university is expected to reopen on Tuesday.

Around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, 21 cars were trapped in a mudslide in the Lake Hughes area. Los Angeles County firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers rescued 51 people, including some by helicopter. Another person was rescued around 11 p.m., said LA County Fire Department public information officer Sheila Kelliher-Berkoh.

“This mud was coming up around the headlights very quickly, so they all kind of needed help from their vehicles,” Kelliher-Berkoh said.

Only one person was injured, and it was minor, she said.

As of 3 a.m. Monday, Elizabeth Lake Road from Johnson Road to Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road were closed due to mudslides, CHP Commissioner Peter Nicholson said. Clean-up efforts were underway, but no further information was provided on the status of the stalled cars.

All roads were open in San Bernardino Monday morning, said Tirrell Hayes, a CHP official in San Bernardino.

Sandberg saw 0.32 inches of rain on Sunday and squealed over the 1976 record for the Date of 0.31 inches. Palmdale doubled its rainfall record from 0.23 inches in 1976 to 0.46 inches on Sunday. Both places are likely to rain heavily again on Monday, said Bruno. Sandberg could break his 1959 record of 0.66 inches, and Palmdale could break his 1963 record of 0.18 inches.

San Jacinto received 0.32 inches of rain on Sunday, breaking a 2021 record for that date, and Campo doubled his 2015 record to 0.88 inches.

The rest of the week looks benign and dull, weather forecasters said. “Maybe we can relax a little and get back to our smug Southern California ways,” said Miguel Miller of the San Diego Weather Service office.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-12/flash-flood-southern-california-rain-mudslides-thunderstorms Flash flood watch in effect for parts of Southern California

Alley Einstein

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