Evacuation Orders in Southern CA Ahead of Major Storm Feb 16, 2017

Residents in southern California are bracing for what is expected to be the strongest storm in years. A potent storm system has the potential to bring widespread street flooding and damaging winds to southern California. It’s a rare storm that is also forecast to bring record rain to southern California during what has been one of the wettest winters in years.

Flash flood watches are in effect through Saturday for the potential of 3-6″ of rain in the Los Angeles metro.

As a precaution, the city of Duarte, CA issued a “red alert” for the Fish Fire burn area. This means a mandatory evacuation is in place for roughly 180 homes in this area. Residents are told to be out by 7 a.m. Friday. There has been an evacuation center set up at the City Hall Community Center. Those under the evacuation order are urged to bring their medications. City officials say nobody is allowed back until after the evacuation order has been lifted.

Additional evacuations are possible due to mudslides and flooding for the nearby areas of Glendora and Azusa. Both of these communities are near the Colby Fire burn area. Sandbags have been distributed to residents in Azusa at the City Yard.

Heavy rain will begin to overspread southern California by Friday morning with the heaviest occurring during the afternoon. Rainfall rates of 1-2″ per hour may fall at times. Rain rates at this intensity may lead to roads becoming impassible. The greatest flood threat will be from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County.

Rainfall totals of 2-6″ will be likely in the valleys and along the coastline with up to 10″ in the mountains by Saturday. This storm will have the potential to give Los Angeles one of the wettest days on record.

In addition to the heavy rain, powerful winds will accompany the storm. Winds may gust up to 70 mph for the higher terrain leading to power outages. High Wind Warnings are in effect for these areas.

The storm will wrap up Saturday morning and southern California will finally have the opportunity to dry out. Dry conditions will continue for southern California over the next week following the storm.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Nick Merianos

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