After the storm: Evacuation lifted, property damaged and destroyed
car stuck in mud Jan. 23 in Placertia Creek downstream from Meadview. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.
By Jim Holt
Monday, January 23rd, 2017

A weekend of heavy sudden rain displaced a community, threatened more than 100 homes evacuated, destroyed property and, in the case that affected Lynda Hope of Green Valley, killed the beautiful big white horse she rescued three years ago.

When the snow plow went by her home on Calle Primavera Monday morning, she said, it spooked her horse named Beowulf, causing him to bolt, then slip and fall between a tree and a fence, collapsing in mud where it stayed stuck and died.

“It was supposed to be a rescue,” Hope said, referring to the efforts of firefighters who worked to free the animal.

Shaken by the ordeal and crying over the loss, Hope blamed the severe weather for the death.

“It was the mud and a lot of rain,” she said. “It was very slippery and when he slipped, it caught him in a bad way.

“He was the highlight of our community,” she said. “There was a lot of effort to save him.  It was just one of those freak things – a lot of rain in a short amount of time.”

Evacuation

Sudden rains Friday and then again on Sunday proved disastrous for residents in fire-ravaged Sand Canyon who watched their driveways and bridges swept away by a torrent of water racing by their homes.

At least 105 homes in Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon were evacuated, Supervisor Bernard Peters of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.   It was Monday morning by the time they would allowed to return to their homes.

“Another hour of rain like that and some of these homes would not be standing,” displaced Sand Canyon resident Catharine Kimmer told The Signal Monday.

Flooded street in Sand Canyon. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

“We all have riverfront property now,” she said. “Fire is the reason for all this.  We had rain Sunday and hail this morning. When it comes to the elements, we had hurdled everything. We had everything thrown at us.”

Kimmer watched a torrent of water surge down Iron Canyon Friday and was unable to get to her house.

Los Angeles County workers with the Department of Public Works labored for more three hours by Kimmer’s home, offering at one point to scoop her up in the bucket of a bulldozer and let her down on the other side.

While Public Works officials lifted the evacuation 10 a.m. Monday, they cautioned residents to still be wary of rushing water and mud slides.

“Please be aware that road closures may be reinstated should flooding or debris flow occur,” Public Works spokesman Kerjon Lee said in a statement.

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.

Displaced residents were expected to show “valid ID” before being allowed back into the area, Lee said.

“Do not attempt to drive through moving water,” he said. “Be cautious of boulders or other debris in the roadway, and report downed power poles and odors of natural gas immediately.”

“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.

Public Works crews respond to SCV flooding. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

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

Kimmer crossed the raging stream about 3 p.m. Sunday and returned to her home before the official OK was given by county officials.

Caution issued

Public Works officials announced the lifting of the evacuation at 10 a.m. Monday, but cautioned residents to be wary of rushing water and mud slides.

“Please be aware that road closures may be reinstated should flooding or debris flow occur,” Public Works spokesman Kerjon Lee said in a news release Monday.

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.

Residents forced from their homes were expected to show “valid ID” before being allowed back into the area, Lee said.

“Do not attempt to drive through moving water,” Lee said. “Be cautious of boulders or other debris in the roadway, and report downed power poles and odors of natural gas immediately.”

Car swept away by flash flood on Quigley. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

“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 shoveling mud from those same properties this past weekend.

“Most of us have houses on high ground,” Kimmer said Monday, noting the “people downstream were not prepared, however.”

Prep work  

One Sand Canyon resident prepared for the worst was the Robinson Ranch Golf Club where staffers put in a significant number of man-hours planning and prepping 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.

Some Robinson Ranch neighbors, however, saw portions of their driveways eaten away by the water. Motorists caught suddenly in flash floods sustained damage to their vehicles.

Matthew Thompson watched and captured video of a car being swallowed by rising water on Quigley Road near Placerita Canyon Road about 3 p.m. Sunday. He said the car was destroyed.

“She (the driver) got out but the car, it went down the wash for about a mile,” he said.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department had warned motorists at the outset of the weekend storm not to try and cross bodies of water.

“Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water,” Captain Keith Mora said in an advisory issued over the weekend.

Anytime there are rains approaching, it is important to plan and prepare for the increased potential of flooding, mud slides and debris run-off, Mora said.

Flood preparation

For future rains, fire officials recommend preparations that include:

 

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

on Twitter @jamesasrthurholt

 

 

About the author

Jim Holt

Jim Holt

car stuck in mud Jan. 23 in Placertia Creek downstream from Meadview. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

After the storm: Evacuation lifted, property damaged and destroyed

A weekend of heavy sudden rain displaced a community, threatened more than 100 homes evacuated, destroyed property and, in the case that affected Lynda Hope of Green Valley, killed the beautiful big white horse she rescued three years ago.

When the snow plow went by her home on Calle Primavera Monday morning, she said, it spooked her horse named Beowulf, causing him to bolt, then slip and fall between a tree and a fence, collapsing in mud where it stayed stuck and died.

“It was supposed to be a rescue,” Hope said, referring to the efforts of firefighters who worked to free the animal.

Shaken by the ordeal and crying over the loss, Hope blamed the severe weather for the death.

“It was the mud and a lot of rain,” she said. “It was very slippery and when he slipped, it caught him in a bad way.

“He was the highlight of our community,” she said. “There was a lot of effort to save him.  It was just one of those freak things – a lot of rain in a short amount of time.”

Evacuation

Sudden rains Friday and then again on Sunday proved disastrous for residents in fire-ravaged Sand Canyon who watched their driveways and bridges swept away by a torrent of water racing by their homes.

At least 105 homes in Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon were evacuated, Supervisor Bernard Peters of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.   It was Monday morning by the time they would allowed to return to their homes.

“Another hour of rain like that and some of these homes would not be standing,” displaced Sand Canyon resident Catharine Kimmer told The Signal Monday.

Flooded street in Sand Canyon. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

“We all have riverfront property now,” she said. “Fire is the reason for all this.  We had rain Sunday and hail this morning. When it comes to the elements, we had hurdled everything. We had everything thrown at us.”

Kimmer watched a torrent of water surge down Iron Canyon Friday and was unable to get to her house.

Los Angeles County workers with the Department of Public Works labored for more three hours by Kimmer’s home, offering at one point to scoop her up in the bucket of a bulldozer and let her down on the other side.

While Public Works officials lifted the evacuation 10 a.m. Monday, they cautioned residents to still be wary of rushing water and mud slides.

“Please be aware that road closures may be reinstated should flooding or debris flow occur,” Public Works spokesman Kerjon Lee said in a statement.

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.

Displaced residents were expected to show “valid ID” before being allowed back into the area, Lee said.

“Do not attempt to drive through moving water,” he said. “Be cautious of boulders or other debris in the roadway, and report downed power poles and odors of natural gas immediately.”

“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.

Public Works crews respond to SCV flooding. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

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

Kimmer crossed the raging stream about 3 p.m. Sunday and returned to her home before the official OK was given by county officials.

Caution issued

Public Works officials announced the lifting of the evacuation at 10 a.m. Monday, but cautioned residents to be wary of rushing water and mud slides.

“Please be aware that road closures may be reinstated should flooding or debris flow occur,” Public Works spokesman Kerjon Lee said in a news release Monday.

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.

Residents forced from their homes were expected to show “valid ID” before being allowed back into the area, Lee said.

“Do not attempt to drive through moving water,” Lee said. “Be cautious of boulders or other debris in the roadway, and report downed power poles and odors of natural gas immediately.”

Car swept away by flash flood on Quigley. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal.

“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 shoveling mud from those same properties this past weekend.

“Most of us have houses on high ground,” Kimmer said Monday, noting the “people downstream were not prepared, however.”

Prep work  

One Sand Canyon resident prepared for the worst was the Robinson Ranch Golf Club where staffers put in a significant number of man-hours planning and prepping 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.

Some Robinson Ranch neighbors, however, saw portions of their driveways eaten away by the water. Motorists caught suddenly in flash floods sustained damage to their vehicles.

Matthew Thompson watched and captured video of a car being swallowed by rising water on Quigley Road near Placerita Canyon Road about 3 p.m. Sunday. He said the car was destroyed.

“She (the driver) got out but the car, it went down the wash for about a mile,” he said.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department had warned motorists at the outset of the weekend storm not to try and cross bodies of water.

“Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water,” Captain Keith Mora said in an advisory issued over the weekend.

Anytime there are rains approaching, it is important to plan and prepare for the increased potential of flooding, mud slides and debris run-off, Mora said.

Flood preparation

For future rains, fire officials recommend preparations that include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

 

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

on Twitter @jamesasrthurholt