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Southland storms claim 2 lives; more heavy rains coming Wednesday night [Updated]

January 19, 2010 |  6:57 pm

Two fatalities have been blamed on this week's series of storms.

An El Cajon woman was crushed this afternoon when the passing storm uprooted a tree, which fell on her.

And on Monday night, a 100-foot tree crashed to the ground, crushing a Frazier Park man in his home.

But forecasters said the worst is yet to come, in the form of a stronger, colder storm set to hit the Los Angeles area Wednesday evening. Authorities plan to evacuate 489 homes in the mudslide-prone foothill area around La Cañada Flintridge and neighboring cities this morning in advance of the storm.

Those evacuations are expected to remain in place until Monday.

“With the first two storms, we got lucky,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. “Wednesday could be horrendous. Monday we got the right jab. Tuesday we got the left jab. Wednesday we could get the haymaker to the chin.”

[Updated at 7 p.m.: Evacuation orders will go out by 9 a.m. with orders to be out by 1 p.m. The addresses of the targeted homes will be made public within the hour at www.dpwcare.org. Residents with questions can call the Los Angeles County Fire Department, (323) 881-2411.]

-- Shelby Grad

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