From Drought to Drama in California: Flash Flood Watch, Tornado Warning, 10-12-foot Waves, and More Rain Ahead

A flash flood watch remained in effect for large parts of Southern California amid a powerful rain storm that will keep the region wet through Sunday.
A flash flood watch remained in effect for large parts of Southern California amid a powerful rain storm that will keep the region wet through Sunday.

A flash flood watch remained in effect for large parts of Southern California amid a powerful rain storm that will keep the region wet through Sunday.

Officials warned of possible coastal flooding and waves topping 12 feet at some beaches Saturday. In the mountains, snow levels dropped to 5,500 feet. On Friday night, the storms brought lightning and strong  winds.

Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of L.A. County. The weather service posted on Twitter a map showing what it said was a “a weak tornado near Walnut, Azus.” No injuries were reported.

Evacuations remain in effect in foothill communities in the eastern San Gabriel Valley, which saw mudflows Friday and where some hillsides are unstable.

A strong low-pressure storm system poised off the coast will move inland over the course of the weekend, bringing as much as 3 inches of rain to the coast and as much as 10 inches in some mountain areas. Winds will be powerful; some inland portions of San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties could see gusts of 65 mph or more.

Evacuations remain in effect in the foothill communities of Glendora and Azusa, east of Pasadena and in the shadows of the Angeles National Forest. There, an illegal campfire erupted into a 2,000-acre blaze in January, destroying five homes — and leaving thousands of homes exposed to danger beneath denuded slopes.

Authorities, fearing that homes could be overrun and inundated with mud and debris, issued evacuation orders for about 1,000 homes, and an additional 200 homes in the nearby city of Monrovia. But in some areas, residents estimated that as many as three-quarters of homeowners had rejected the “mandatory” evacuation and elected to stay put, a decision that did not please fire and rescue officials.

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SOURCE: Ruben Vives and Rong-Gong Lin II 
The Los Angeles Times