Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Roads in Angeles National Forest closed as rains bear down

January 18, 2010 |  8:27 am

Local transportation officials have started blocking off roadways through the Angeles National Forest as Southern California braces for one of its heaviest rainstorms in years.

Caltrans closed Angeles Crest Highway between Mt. Wilson and Islip Saddle at 6 p.m. Sunday, and half an hour later closed Big Tujunga Canyon Road at Mt. Gleason, said CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos.

The closure was a precautionary measure in case of mudslides on hills charred by last summer's Station fire, he said.

“Worst-case scenario, you can have a mudslide which can cover the roadway, which can cause hazards to any vehicles,” Villalobos said.

Today's storm is expected to drop between three and six inches of rain on the fire zone before a weaker storm arrives Tuesday.

The National Weather Service predicts dangerous surf conditions, coastal flooding, possible mudslides and flash floods in what forecasters say could be the area’s wettest weather since early 2005.

This week's series of storms could drench the area with as much as 20 inches of rain along some south-facing slopes and eight inches along the coasts and in the valleys.

Forecasters say a third storm – the strongest of the three – will wallop the region Wednesday and Thursday. The threat of showers could linger through Friday.

-- Amina Khan

Photo: La Cañada Flintridge resident Steve Brown walks his dogs, Bella and Cooper, along a K-rail on  Ocean View Boulevard as the first of this week's expected storms hit the area burned by the Station fire last year. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Celebrating L.A.'s midcentury ecclesiastical architecture

Caltrans tries to drive down cost of easing congestion problem

'Monster train' caught on video

Riverside woman dies after apparently jumping from truck on freeway