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Rain-weary La Canada Flintridge man evacuates home as a precaution

December 7, 2009 | 12:24 pm

La Cañada Flintridge resident Gary Stibal feverishly packed his silver Buick with clothes and important files this morning after spending a week preparing his home for the rainstorm that has hit Southern California.

The 69-year-old said he wanted to get to dryer ground.

"I'm out of here," Stibal said as he closed the trunk of his car. "The hills are doing well, but I just don't know how long that will last. This is the worst I've seen so far."

Stibal, who moved to the area in 1978, said he never expected to be in this kind of situation -- with the fire-ravaged hillsides threatening to slide down in a river of mud.

"This is the first time I've had to leave," Stibal said.

There were no mandatory evacuations; Stibal said he just wanted to be cautious.

In his backyard, as many as seven layers of sandbags neatly lined his patio. Charred remains of the Station fire's path were visible nearby. A stain more than a foot high marred the back wall of his house from rain and dirt that came down in the last downfall. Stibal said it cost nearly $20,000 to clean up the damage.

He planned to wait out the storm with friends in Huntington Beach or in a hotel.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy in La Cañada Flintridge

More photos: Storm Arrives in Southland

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