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Torrential rains force Rose Hills to cancel burials, services

December 22, 2010 |  5:04 pm

Torrential downpours Wednesday forced officials at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary to cancel burials and outdoor services.

The 1,400-acre site near the 605 Freeway in Whittier was soaked by rain that inundated the area and sent torrents gushing down steep hillsides, a spokesman said.

"The ground is totally saturated," spokesman Nick Clark told The Times.

He said Rose Hills officials couldn't confirm reports by some media organizations that caskets had been unearthed by the rainfall, explaining that crews had been unable to inspect the park because of the weather.

Rose Hills has hired geologists to assess the damage, including erosion that occurred in a small area of the park, Clark said.

"With this type of rain and weather," he said, "it's just a formula for something bad to happen."

-- Robert J. Lopez