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Flood watches in effect for much of Southland

December 21, 2010 | 10:09 pm

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch Tuesday evening for the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, recent burn areas, the Orange County and San Diego County coasts, the Inland Empire and almost all mountain areas.

A flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

“A strong low-pressure system off the West Coast will continue to pull a large plume of subtropical moisture over the area,” the weather service said in a statement. “Locally, heavy rainfall associated with thunderstorms will create the potential for flash flooding.”

More severe flood warnings were in effect for the San Diego River, which was 9.9 feet high on Tuesday but was expected to rise to near 12.3 feet Wednesday morning. If floodwaters reach that high, portions of San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall parking lot will be underwater, as would Avenida del Rio and Fashion Valley Road.

A flood warning was also issued for the Mojave River in southwest San Bernardino County. The river was expected to crest around 16.1 feet by Wednesday evening, which could cause “significant flows” to reach farming areas north of Victorville.

RELATED:

Schwarzenegger declares state of emergency as storms pound California

Storm forces Santa Monica officials to close California Incline

Dozens of homes evacuated in San Diego as rains sweep area

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

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