Lingering rains from Kay raise flood concerns in SoCal

The remnants of Tropical Storm Kay could cause thunderstorms and flooding in southern California Sunday and earlier in the week, particularly in the mountains and inland deserts, according to the National Weather Service.

A flash flood watch was in place Saturday for mountain and desert areas in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire.

Thunderstorms on Sunday “may move more slowly” than Saturday, increasing the risk of flooding if the rain continues to hit the same areas, Robbie Munroe, a weather forecaster with the Los Angeles National Weather Service, said on Saturday. “We’re going to take a closer look at that today.”

In San Diego County, “We’re going to see scattered rain showers throughout the area on Sunday and Monday,” said Casey Oswant, a weather forecaster with the local National Weather Service. “Showers are most likely in the mountains but could sometimes move west into the valleys or east into the deserts.”

Oswant added that the region should expect “a small chance of thunderstorms each afternoon with all the remaining tropical moisture” when Kay leaves the area. But the region has largely avoided predicted flash floods and coastal flooding as the tropical storm rarely approached north of the California-Mexico border, sending gusts in excess of 100 mph in the mountains of San Diego County, bringing Miami-style humidity and churning up heavy surf.

Perhaps most importantly, the storm brought Southern California with it Relief from the nagging temperatures earlier in the week. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s but lower early next week on beaches and some mountain areas. Some areas could cool further with the return of low clouds, Munroe said.

“We’ll warm up a bit towards the end of the week,” Oswant said, “but it will remain closer to seasonal temperatures for this time of year.”

In Northern California, falling temperatures were welcome news for crews battling the mosquito fire, which swelled to more than 33,000 acres Saturday and prompted evacuation orders for thousands of people in Placer and El Dorado counties. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials tweeted Saturday that the fire continues to threaten buildings and power lines.

Chris Vestal, a public information officer for the Sacramento Metro Fire District and spokesman for the Mosquito Fire, said officials were keeping a close eye on wind patterns to see if they were changing.

“We are optimistic that we are making progress and we hope the winds remain as weak as forecast,” Vestal said. He noticed that the steep The terrain complicated efforts to build strong containment lines.

Firefighters fighting the Fairview fire near Hemet were also relieved by the rain, as the extra moisture saturated the area and mitigated the threat of high winds, said Rob Roseen, a spokesman for the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department .

“We caught some of those winds, but the rain came a lot earlier than expected,” Roseen said. “We still have fire rooted in some of these logs and things like that and there’s definitely fire work to be done, but the fire has mostly been reduced.”

Some residents of northern Temecula who had been evacuated began returning to their homes Friday night, he said.

As of Saturday morning, Tropical Storm Kay was about 250 miles southwest of the San Diego coast. For the normally dry September, the storm easily broke rainfall records in San Diego, Escondido, Vista, Los Angeles and Burbank.

San Diego recorded 0.61 inches of precipitation Friday — beating the record for the date of 0.09 inches set in 1976. More than 5 inches of precipitation was recorded over two days at San Diego County’s Mount Laguna.

Tens of thousands of people in the Los Angeles area lost power Saturday morning, including in Pico-Union, Hollywood and other Sylmar and San Pedro neighborhoods. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said more than 24,000 people were without power as of Saturday morning and another 30,000 were restored to power after outages ranging from minutes to hours over the past 24 hours, according to spokeswoman Mia Rose Wong.

“Crews work incredibly hard and as fast as they can,” said Rose Wong. “They will work around the clock until power is restored.”

By early Saturday afternoon, nearly 13,000 customers were left without power, DWP said, estimating that was the case crews took 12 to 24 hours to respond after an outage was reported. The department said that during heavy rain and wind storms, the leading cause of power outages is flying debris, such as tree branches and palm fronds, hitting power lines.

“This is especially true for the first rains after an extended period of time and especially after the dry conditions experienced by the region as a result of the drought,” the department said in a statement.

The rain spurred an advisory from the Los Angeles County Department of Health, which warned residents to exercise caution when swimming, surfing or playing in the ocean due to concerns about contamination from storm drains, which include bacteria, chemicals, trash and others can be health risks.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-10/lingering-rains-from-kay-raise-flood-concerns-in-socal Lingering rains from Kay raise flood concerns in SoCal

Alley Einstein

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