Damage from Southern California rains could top $60 million
Damage from the storms that battered Southern California is expected to top $60 million.
Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency Thursday for Los Angeles, Kings and Santa Barbara counties in response to the destructive rain, which caused some severe mudslides and flooding. States of emergency had already been declared in Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties.
One of the hardest-hit areas was the foothill community of Highland in San Bernardino County. There, evacuations remained in place for 140 homes below an unstable 100-foot bluff. City officials said damage there was approaching $17 million alone.
At least 26 homes, most of them in another Highland neighborhood where a creek overflowed, sustained extensive damage. Floodwaters left behind 4 feet of mud and half-buried cars tipped up at odd angles.
Dozens of homes and businesses were also damaged in Laguna Beach. Silverado Canyon and the surrounding area in Orange County were also hard hit.
The Laguna Beach City Council was scheduled to meet Friday to discuss the disaster. A spokesman for Orange County told the Associated Press that damage estimates topped $23 million.
Forecasters predicted that a milder storm system would move in Saturday afternoon. And yet another storm cell could enter the region Tuesday.
San Diego County also took a beating, with flooding at Qualcomm Stadium. But city workers labored nonstop to pump an estimated 1.5 million gallons of water off the field before Thursday's Poinsettia Bowl between San Diego State and Navy. The game went on as scheduled with a field that was wet but not slushy.
--Sam Allen, Robert J. Lopez and Howard Blume
Photo: Daniel Sanchez, 24, looks at his 2007 Toyota Camry buried in mud on Tyler Street in the foothill community of Highland in San Bernardino County on Thursday. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)