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SoCal "Monster Storm" Update

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As the second wave of the massive storm system that wailed on the area last night approaches, here are some updates on conditions and storm-related happenings:

  • We have the power: reports that "Power has been restored Saturday to 31,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who lost service" due to the rainstorm. A quarter of the outages were located in the San Fernando valley. Some customers, including a few hundred in OC with Edison, may still be without power.
  • Despite the break in the rain right now, OC residents in areas threatened by potential mudslides due to burned terrain need to remain cautious, although evacuations are officially on hold.
  • It's so far so good in Malibu. The region is reportedly holding up well after last night's rain, but braced for more downpour, which could lead to a debris flow. Such a disaster could happen in Malibu "if an intense rainfall of two-tenths of an inch of rain fell in a 30 minute period," explains (Don't know what a debris flow is? Read John McPhee's The Control of Nature.)
  • The storm has claimed one fatality thus far, as a woman in her 20s was caught in a flash flood that swept her away as she sat in her vehicle. The LA Times explains what happened to the victim and her companion, who survived:
    At about 1 a.m., [she] made a one-minute 911 cellphone call that led officers to the scene before the call was disconnected [...] When officers arrived, they found her male companion, Rene Valencia, 36, of Corona, several hundred yards south clinging to a tree [...] The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department then used an aviation unit to search for the pickup, which a dive team found empty. They later discovered the woman's body about half a mile south of the truck.

  • Enjoy the dry weather while you can... looks like the rains are due to start up again overnight and pick up their pace through Sunday.

Photo by jimw via Flickr