Evacuations and Flood Warnings in California After Day of Record Rain

A number of flash flood warnings were issued for parts of California after a storm drenched southern parts of the state, including Los Angeles, yesterday 2 December. There remains a possibility of further heavy rainfall for today 03 December.

The heavy rain brought threats of mudslides and floods, particularly in Ventura and Orange counties, where dozens of houses had to be evacuated as a precaution. The severe weather also brought problems on the roads. However there have been no reports of any deaths or injuries.

Camarillo Springs debris flow cleanup. Photo: Ventura Co Sheriff
Camarillo Springs debris flow cleanup. Photo: Ventura Co Sheriff

Of particular concern was the effect the heavy rainfall might have on the fire-scarred hills of San Gabriel Mountains. The Colby fire earlier this year has left hillsides bare and without any natural protection from mudslides.

According to the US National Weather Service, a record amount of rain fell in downtown Los Angeles for 02 December, beating the previous high for that date, set in 1961.

Image: National Weather Service
Image: National Weather Service

National Weather Service warnings remained in place earlier today, 03 December, Orange
County, The Inland Empire (east of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area) and the San Bernardino County Mountains.

They also said that more heavy rain can be expected as a result of the low pressure system just off the California coast which will continue the flow of subtropical moisture into far southern California with periods of showers into Thursday.

“Additional rainfall is expected to continue to be greatest on the coastal mountain slopes and less towards the coast. This is expected to bring occasional periods of more widespread moderate to locally heavy rainfall. The greatest threat for flash flooding and debris flows will be on steep coastal mountain slopes and in and below the recent burn areas.

Moderate to heavy rainfall in the coastal and valley areas could produce urban flooding, especially in low-lying and other poorly drained areas. There is some risk of flash flooding west of the mountains should more intense rainfall develop”.