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Showers expected this weekend; residents in the foothills urged to be on alert

March 5, 2010 |  8:29 am

A new storm was expected to bring another round of showers to Southern California this weekend, but forecasters did not expect it to dampen Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony or affect residents of denuded foothill communities.

Most of the rain is expected Saturday evening, continuing through Sunday morning, with decreasing shower activity through the afternoon, said Bill Hoffer, a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“The lower pressure … will be overland, so moisture and precipitation will be rather limited,” Hoffer said.

Rainfall totals could range between one quarter and three quarters of an inch, with the possibility of about 1 inch of rain in the foothills and mountain regions, particularly across the San Gabriel Mountains, he said.

Despite the limited threat to areas ravaged by last year’s wildfires, Los Angeles County officials urged residents in foothill communities to remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

“We have issued the alert advising that, given the current forecast, evacuations are possible,” said Bob Spencer, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. “But they haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet.”

An incident command center would be activated at 3 a.m. Saturday, Spencer said.

He said his agency was prepared for any changes in the weather that might affect the burn areas. All seven of the smaller debris basins in the region were almost empty, and the remaining 21 larger basins had available capacities of between 50% and 80%, Spencer said.

--Ann M. Simmons