A PT Cruiser sends water more than 10 feet into the air driving down a flooded portion of 12th Street in Newhall. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Heavy rain spurs flash flood watch

While Santa Clarita Valley residents enjoyed a brief break in the back-to-back storms moving in the area this week, agencies at each level of government issued alert notices Tuesday about approaching heavy rains.

Officials with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard issued a flash flood watch Tuesday morning as heavy rains were forecast to arrive in the SCV Tuesday night.

“Periods of very heavy rain are expected through this evening as another strong storm system impacts the area,” according to the notice.

“Isolated thunderstorms are possible as well. As a result, there is an elevated risk of flash flooding with mud and debris flows in and around recent burn areas.

“In addition, roadway flooding is likely, especially in low-lying areas, along with rock and mudslides on canyon roads and below steep terrain.”

Areas of concern
Areas of concern over flooding and mudslides for the Santa Clarita Valley include areas damaged by the Sand Fire of 2016 and the Calgrove Fire of 2015.

The flash flood watch remained in effect until until 11 p.m. Tuesday. Some areas in Los Angeles County were expecting between 0.75 inches and 1.25 inches of rain.

The forecast temperatures suggest to California Highway Patrol officials that Interstate 5 will stay open — but they caution it could change.

“Our weather sources have indicated it should not snow on the top of the pass tonight or tomorrow, but things can change with Mother Nature,” CHP Officer Josh Greengard said Tuesday.

“All our management along with all our officers know how Operation Snowflake works and operates,” he said.

“It does take some coordination with Caltrans, but they are also well trained and know exactly what needs to be done,” Greengard said.

According to weather officials: “Rainfall of this intensity can produce dangerous mud and debris flows in and near recent burn areas.”

Heavy rain forecast
The weather forecast for SCV calls for heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday, with sunshine called for Friday. Daily high temperatures are expected to be in the low 60s, with overnight temperatures dropping to about 48.

In preparation for the storm, Los Angeles County officials announced Tuesday afternoon that emergency preparedness efforts were underway as strong, unpredictable rain and thunderstorms move into the area.

A news release issued by the county warned that “all county residents are being advised to get ready for the upcoming storm by knowing their flood risk and preparing accordingly.”

Officials with the Emergency Management Department in the city of Los Angeles issued their own advisory telling people to be prepared for evacuations.

Storms with periods of heavy rain are expected to continue through Thursday, Los Angeles city officials said in a news release.

“Heavy rain can lead to flooding and debris flows, which may trigger evacuations,” the release said. “Be prepared to leave if evacuations are ordered for your area.”

You can learn more about how to prepare for flooding and debris flows at the LAFD website: https://www.lafd.org/news/los-angeles-firefighters-urge-storm-safety-and-preparedness.

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