Historic California Rain Leaves a Muddy Disaster

Storms are receding, but cleanup from mudslides, flooding, fallen trees will take awhile
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2024 6:00 AM CST
Historic California Storms Leave a Muddy Mess
Storm damage from mud, rock, and debris flows along Lockridge Road in Studio City, Calif.   (David Crane/The Orange County Register via AP)

Rainfall from one of the wettest storms in Southern California history was to ease off Tuesday, but forecasters warned that floods were still possible and that soaked ground raised the threat of potentially deadly landslides, per the AP. The slow-moving storm that parked itself over the region on Monday, dumping a record amount of rain on parts of Los Angeles, could linger into Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

  • Downtown Los Angeles received nearly 7 inches of rain by Monday night, nearly half the yearly average of 14.25 inches. It was already the third-wettest two-day period since at least 1877, the service said. Communities in the Santa Monica mountains received more than 10 inches.
  • Near the Hollywood Hills, floodwaters carried mud, rocks, and household objects downhill through Studio City, city officials said. Sixteen people were evacuated and several homes were red-tagged. "It looks like a river that's been here for years," said resident Keki Mingus.
  • Three people were killed by falling trees in Northern California, reports the Los Angeles Times.

  • The Los Angeles Fire Department said 1,000 firefighters had dealt with more than 300 mudslides in addition to more than 100 reports of flooding and rescues of motorists stranded in vehicles on inundated roadways. Rescues included a dog and its owner from the Los Angeles River, and five cats from rushing water, per the Times.
  • In LA, an evacuation order remained in place for some residents of a canyon area that was scarred by a 2022 fire. The area was at increased risk of mud and debris flows because the area was burned bare of brush and trees that could hold it back, authorities said.
(More Los Angeles stories.)

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