Storm Causes Mandatory Evacuations in Burn Area
A Hollywood Hills home on La Pressa Drive was yellow-tagged due to potential structural problems caused by the rain. (KTLA-TV / December 12, 2009)
At least 44 homes in the La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon areas of the San Gabriel Mountains are under mandatory evacuation orders as heavy rain continues to soak hillsides north of Los Angeles stripped by wildfire.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works spokesman Gary Boze says that sheriff's deputies on Saturday night were helping people to leave 36 homes in La Cañada Flintridge, six in La Crescenta, and two in the Big Tujunga area.
An evacuation center has been set up at La Canada High School, which also served as a shelter as the Station fire burned the area months ago.
Boze says the evacuation orders should remain in effect as long as the rains continue, though the homes are being evacuated as a precaution at this point, and none have been hit with mud or debris yet.
One Hollywood Hills home in the 6900 block of La Pressa Drive, situated near a steeply inclined hillside, has been yellow-tagged by city officials.
The inhabiting family evacuated the residence voluntarily after inspectors warned of potential structural problems.
Department of Building and Safety spokesman Frank Bush says downpours Saturday have weakened the ground next to homes near the Hollywood Bowl.
Earlier at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, city firefighters went to a home next to a construction site, at 13000 Cranston Avenue in Sylmar, where mud and water was ponding, a fire spokesman said. Reports from the scene indicated that earthmovers had blocked water flow next to a block concrete wall, threatening to puncture the wall and flood adjacent property.
Firefighters at the scene said they knocked a hole in a wall, letting the accumulated muddy water drain into a street.
Around 16,000 Southern California homes lost electricity for three to four hours or more, as tree branches and debris snapped power lines in areas including Culver City, Inglewood, Hawthorne, officials reported.
Outages continue to occur and it's unclear when power will be restored to certain areas as the storm is ongoing, according to officials.
Around 6,300 Southern California Edison customers lost power Saturday due to the storm.
"Obviously, an outage is major for those affected, but in terms of total numbers this storm has had a minor impact on the Edison grid," Gil Alexander, spokesman with Southern California Edison said.
About 10,600 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers also experienced outages throughout the day, and about 2,000 customers in Crenshaw remained in the dark by nightfall.
Officials said DWP crews are working to restore power as the storm continues to pelt Southern California.