Rain Eases, Evacuations Lifted, But Storm Will Hang Over SoCal
UPDATED on Feb. 3, 2019 at 10:25 a.m.
The downpours have subsided, evacuation notices have been lifted in the Woolsey, Holy and Montecito fires burn zones — but rain will continue for the next couple of days.
According to the National Weather Service, two more inches of rain will fall before Tuesday, and snow levels will be as low as 4,000 feet, possibly impacting the Grapevine on I-5.
The weekend storm posed challenges for civilian and first responders.
Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside and L.A. were all subjected to manadatory and voluntary evacuation notices.
Highway 101 was closed in Montecito, where thousands were affected by deadly mudslides last year.
Several L.A. County road closures have been in effect in the Woolsey Fire burn area, including parts of Kanan Rd., Lindero Canyon and Malibu Canyon.
In Ventura County, a search-and-rescue member was killed Saturday after responding to a car accident on the 5 freeway near Pyramid Lake.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department's Sergeant Eric Buschow says the team was headed to Mt. Pinos, near the Ventura-Kern County line, for training when they came upon the scene of a collision.
"While they were helping people at that scene, another vehicle plowed into the scene and struck several of our search-and-rescue team members, killing one and injuring three," he said.
The three injured rescue workers were transferred to Henry Mayo Newhall hospital in Santa Clarita. The department tweeted the name of the officer who was killed, Jeff Dye. Two of the SAR officer were in critical condition.
According to the National Weather Service, the storm system could bring "one of the strongest south wind events in recent years," with gusts of 40 to 60 mph — even up to 80 mph in some mountain and desert regions.
More than 5 inches of rain has fallen in the region since Friday night.
A powerful storm system expected to affect SW Calif Friday night-Saturday night. Rainfall estimates of 1.50-3.00 inches for coastal/valley areas, with 4.00-7.00 inches possible across south facing foothills and mountains. #LArain #cawx #Socal #LAWeather pic.twitter.com/QaWjbaURzp— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) February 1, 2019
All that rain and wind means the usual threats of debris flows, downed trees, power outages and traffic delays.
NWS forecasters issued a Flash Flood Watch for recent fire burn zones in Santa Barabara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, beginning Saturday.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health extended an advisory for all county beaches to Feb. 3, warning of the risk of bacteria and debris that can wash into the ocean during a rainstorm.
#HealthAlert: @LAHealthOfficer has extended the for all Los Angeles County beaches extended until Sunday, February 3 at 10:00 a.m. Avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. #LARain https://t.co/irBvUJYpxN pic.twitter.com/yxAke0YWQd— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) January 31, 2019
A mandatory evacuation was issued in the Thomas/Woolsey/Sherpa fire burn areas at noon on Friday. In Ventura County, mandatory evacuations went into effect on Friday at 8 p.m. in Matilija Canyon, Wheeler Springs and North Fork , and at the Ventura Beach RV Resort on Friday at 6 p.m.
At 1040am...very heavy rain was moving over the #WoolseyFire from Thousand Oaks to Malibu. Rain rates of 0.31 inch in 5 minutes reported at Lechuza Fire Station. Flash flood warning in effect until 1pm PST. Rock slides, along with mud and debris flows likely. #CAwx #LARain pic.twitter.com/x8RXvQUXiX— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) February 2, 2019
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
- Los Angeles County
- Ventura County
- Santa Barbara County
- Riverside County
- National Weather Service Los Angeles
- California Highway Patrol on Twitter
- Caltrans District 7 on Twitter
- City of Malibu
- L.A. County Fire Department on Twitter
Feb. 1, 6:08 p.m.: This article was updated with information about mandatory evacuations.
Feb. 2, 11:02 a.m.: This article was updated with information about evacuations and the death of a search-and-rescue worker.
Feb. 2, 12:22 p.m.: This article was updated to include the closure of highway 101 in Montecito.
Feb. 2, 12:57 p.m.: This article was updated to include the more information about road closures and evacuations, as well as the name of the search-and-rescue officer killed in Ventura County.
Feb. 2, 2:12 p.m.: This article was updated to include the more information about road closures in the Woolsey Fire burn area.
Feb. 2, 9:09 p.m.: This article was updated to include the new information about Malibu evacuation orders.
Feb. 3, 7:55 a.m.: This article was updated to include the new information about rain forecasts and snow levels.
Feb. 3, 10:25 a.m.: This article was updated to include the new information about evacuations being lifted.
This article was originally published at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1.
Emily Henderson, Jessica P. Ogilvie and Caleigh Wells contributed to this report.