Rains pound area; minor mudslides, but no road closures reported

Master's University student Russ Newland crosses the street using a temporary bridge during the rain storm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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Thursday was a day of major rain — but as of about 1 p.m., only minor weather-related accidents and no road closures around the Santa Clarita area.

“It’s been very light considering the conditions,’’ said Lt. Bryan Aguilera of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station, regarding traffic accidents in the area.

Flood-prone Bouquet Canyon Road – frequently shut down when it rains – remained open.

The National Weather Service had issued a flash flood watch at 9 a.m. for recent burn areas, including the Sand Fire area, but as of around 1 p.m. only a handful of mud and debris incidents were reported, none of them major or forcing road closures.

A Jeep fords the swollen creek on Oakcreek Avenue off of Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall on Thursday as rain continued to come down in the SCV on Jan. 12, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal

While rains were expected to taper off and end around 4 p.m., the flash flood watch was expected to last into the evening.

Aguilera said the Sand Fire burn area – a particular worry for possible mudslides when there is heavy rain – was holding up well.

“That’s the area we are primarily concerned with,’’ Aguilera said.

But as of noon, he said, “We have no reported issues at this time, surprisingly.’’

He did say that some mud and stones slid onto the road at Sierra Highway and Golden Valley Road in the Centre Pointe section of Santa Clarita, but that was “business as usual” and that the roads there remained open.

He also said Sheriff’s deputies had been doing “a lot of traffic stops” to slow down drivers.

“We try to be very visible on days like this,’’ he said.

Aguilera reported one car skidding off Railroad Avenue at Oak Ridge Road and hitting a pole around 11:23 a.m.

The California Highway Patrol, meanwhile, reported a handful of minor accidents and road-debris patches.

Officer Josh Greengard, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol’s Newhall station, said some mud and rocks had slid onto San Francisquito Canyon Road at Lowridge Place in Saugus, affecting both directions, but that the road remained open.

A Toyota truck fords the swollen stream that crosses Oakcreek Avenue in Newhall on Thursday as rains continued in the valley on Jan. 12, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal

He also reported some flooding on Hasley Canyon Road at Del Valle Road in Val Verde, but added, “It always floods right there, there road goes through a natural waterway and it’s a recurring problem.”

He said county road crews had been dispatched to post caution signs.

There was also standing water on eastbound lanes of the Route 126 near Commerce Center Drive, he said.

As for Bouquet Canyon Road, it remained open.

“Everything is behaving as expected, including Bouquet Canyon Creek,’’ said Steven Frasher, a spokesman for the county Department of Public Works – which controls whether Bouquet Canyon Road stays open or gets shut down.

“We are watching the creek closely, and so far it is behaving within its creek bed and the road remains open. We continue to monitor the conditions.’’

Road maintenance teams patrol the area “frequently,” he said.

In flood conditions, a 3 ½-mile stretch between the Angeles National Forest and just south of Big Oaks Lodge gets gated off and closed, but that was not the case Thursday.

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A car drives through water flowing down Placerita Canyon Road near the Master’s University on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal




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