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Evacuation orders remain in neighborhood devastated by mudslides as rains approach

December 28, 2010 | 12:26 pm

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-12/58437174.jpg

In the flood-ravaged City of Highland, about 600 volunteers from the city and neighboring communities were working Tuesday to help dig out homes buried in the mud.

“It’s boots on the ground and shovels in the mud,” said Bill Peters, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “It’s all labor, nothing mechanical.”

Peters said everything was just about ready for the approaching storm. “Our diversion channels and diversion holes are all pretty much set. We’re doing a small amount of sandbagging,” he said. Crews have placed more than 100,000 sandbags since last week’s rains.

Peters said that plans for draining the debris basin were set for 1 p.m. and crews would then remove about 50,000 cubic yards of debris that plugged it up during last week’s storm.

Communities in half of East Highland that are downstream of the basin remained under mandatory evacuation Tuesday.

“In case the debris flow was more than anticipated ... we want everyone out of harm’s way,” Peters said.

Dozens of homes were damaged last week during a major mudslide caused by heavy rains.

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-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Mud flow in a Highland neighborhood. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

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