Storm could bring 5 inches of rain to the Santa Clarita Valley

FILE PHOTO: Two people with umbrellas walk through the Bridgeport neighborhood in Valencia on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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One of the largest rainstorms of the season is expected to hit the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, bringing sporadic heavy rainfall to the area until Thursday.

“They’re looking at rainfall up toward the San Gabriels with 5 to 10 inches now,” said Stewart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service (NWS). “Your area will probably be closer to 5 inches for the entire storm.”

The heaviest rainfall is expected to begin Wednesday night and continue into Thursday. During this time, NWS forecasts indicate that some areas could receive 0.5 to 0.75 inches of rain per hour, and 1 to 2 inches of rain in a three-hour period.

“A prolonged period of moderate to heavy rainfall could occur with this system, with the highest rainfall intensities expected to occur sometime between late Tuesday night and early Thursday,” the NWS said.

The heavy storm is expected to bring a threat of flash flooding and debris flow to recent burn areas, as well as rockslides in the canyons and flooding along urban streets and small streams, according to Seto.

“In addition to the flash flooding and mud and debris flow risk in recent burn areas, there will be other flooding threats in non-burn areas due to the long duration and intensity of this storm,” the NWS said. “Widespread urban roadway flooding is possible as well as rockslides and mudslides, especially near canyon roadways.”

The potential flooding, mudflows and rockslides could cause road closures and travel delays across Southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley. As of Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works had not closed Bouquet Canyon Road before the impending storm.

Because of the potential dangers during the storm, the NWS is encouraging residents throughout Southwest California to prepare for the rain event and stock up on supplies.

“Even outside the burn areas there’s going to be problems so people need to be prepared for power outages and things like that,” Seto said. “They should carry emergency supplies in their car… If they get stuck in the mud it could be two to three hours (before they get help).”

In the Santa Clarita Valley, the storm is expected to begin on Tuesday with a 20 percent chance of rain during the day and a 60 percent chance of rain at night.

On Wednesday there will be a 90 percent chance of rain throughout the day and evening, and on Thursday there will be a 100 percent chance of rain during the day before the storm tapers off to a chance of showers at night.

Sunny and clear skies are expected to return to the area Friday and continue throughout the weekend.

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