Evacuation orders lifted for Sand Canyon residents


Sand Canyon residents of homes evacuated due to flooding and mud flows caused by heavy rains were allowed to return to their homes Monday morning as rain tapered off and blue skies poked through cloud cover.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works announced Monday that beginning at 10 a.m., residents forced from the homes on the weekend would be allowed to go back home.

“The evacuation orders for residents in the Sand Canyon and other Santa Clarita Valley burn areas are set to be lifted at 10 a.m. today,” Public Works spokesman Kerjon Lee said in a news release issued Monday.

“At that time residents will have to show valid ID to be allowed back into the area. Roads leading into the Val Verde area are open,” he said. “Public Safety Officials urge residents to use extreme caution when driving through re-opened areas. Do not attempt to drive through moving water, be cautious of boulders or other debris in the roadway, and report downed power poles and odors of natural gas immediately.”

Lee tempered the good news with a word of caution that a flash flood watch remains in place for the same until 6 p.m. Monday.

“Please be aware that road closures may be reinstated should flooding or debris flow occur,” he said.

“Rainfall could trigger flash flooding anywhere in the watch area.  Flash flooding and debris flows will be a particular threat in and below the recently burned areas,” he said.

Sand Canyon residents, still cleaning up and repairing from the devastation left by the Sand Fire this past summer, were busy sandbagging and shovelling mud from those same properties this past weekend.

In response to heavy rains causing flooding, mud slides and debris flows this past weekend, a mandatory evacuation order was put in place for residents in the Sand Canyon impacted by the Sand Fire and other burn areas such as Placerita Canyon Rd. to the south, Sand Canyon Road to the west boundary, and Iron Canyon Road on the northern boundary.

An intense storm system Sunday pounded the Santa Clarita Valley, gouging loose earth in areas burned by the Sand Fire and left without vegetation that would otherwise anchor it.

Officials at Robinson Ranch Golf Club on Sand Canyon devoted a significant number of manhours preparing for the weekend storm,  Robinson spokesman Mark Kagaoan, told The Signal Monday.

“We tried to anticipate whatever the storm would give us in terms of water and debris so we cleared catch basins,” he said.

The prep work paid off, he said, reporting no significant damage to the golf course.

Captain Keith Mora of the Los Angeles County Fire Department issued tips for residents about flood preparation.

“Due to the approaching rain, it is important to plan and prepare for the increased potential of flooding, mud slides and debris run-off,” Mora said in a news release in advance of the weekend storm.

“The Los Angeles County Fire Department urges residents living in areas prone to debris flow and mud slides to be prepared for danger:

 Obtain sandbags ahead of time. Sandbags (and instructions about how to use them) are available at most local LACoFD fire stations.

 Know how to shut off all utilities. Remember, water and electricity do not mix.

 Flowing water is an instant danger zone. Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons and natural waterways which are susceptible to flooding during periods of heavy rain.

 Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water.

 If you become isolated, seek the highest ground available and wait for help.

 If flooding traps you in your car, stay inside. If the water rises higher, wait on top of your car for assistance. Do not step into moving water around your car.

 If you see someone who has been swept into moving water, do not enter the water and attempt a rescue. Call 911 for emergency rescue personnel and, if possible, throw them a flotation device.

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