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Rain storms make final stand in LA

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By AccuWeather’s calculations, Downtown Los Angeles is on track to receive one month’s worth of rain this week alone

The National Weather Service predicts 4 to 6 inches of rain through Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

The last in a series of wet, windy storms pushed through Los Angeles today, and before clearing out, it triggered power outages, sent boulders and rocks tumbling onto highways, and pushed the soil out from underneath a home in the Hollywood Hills.

Isolated to scattered rain showers will linger into the early evening hours, but the National Weather Service reports that the heaviest rain has exited LA. The region has been saturated all week, as one storm after another moved in.

By AccuWeather’s calculations, Downtown Los Angeles is on track to receive one month’s worth of rain this week alone.

“The average rainfall for downtown L.A. during the entire month of January is 3.12 inches,” the weather website says. “That amount was surpassed on [Wednesday].”

For hundreds of residents, the storms were more than just an inconvenience.

As authorities braced for the possibility of flooding and mudslides, some 300 homes in communities near steep slopes and at the base of drainage areas in Malibu were placed under mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday morning.

Residents who were not told to evacuate but who live in other areas burned in November by the Woolsey Fire were advised earlier this week to stock up on enough food, water, medication, and other supplies to last seven to 10 days as “all canyon roads may be blocked and subject to closure for extended periods.”

This morning, after soil was seen moving beneath a home under construction in Nichols Canyon, firefighters ordered construction workers and nearby residents to evacuate. Fire officials told CBS News that 21 homes in the area had been evacuated, and that retaining walls in the neighborhood had been damaged by shifting soil.

Overnight, downpours sent mud and debris gushing onto Topanga Canyon Road. Rock slides on Wednesday evening forced the closure of Malibu Canyon Road, between Civic Center Way and Piuma Road, and officials had shut down Decker Canyon as a precaution.

A woman hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains this morning was pummeled by a large boulder that tumbled to Rambla Pacifico, leaving her in critical condition, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lost Hills Station reported.

A large home is surrounded by a charred landscape from the Woolsey Fire. Flooding is more likely after fires, when burnt debris collects on hillsides and prevents the soil from absorbing the rainfall.
Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

The first storm drenched Los Angeles overnight on January 11, and rainfall amounts were impressive: 1 inch in Northridge, .95 inches in Pasadena, .82 inches in Santa Monica, .60 inches in Redondo Beach, and .52 inches in Downtown.

The second system roared into Los Angeles Monday morning and by 7 p.m., dropped even more rain than the first: 1.76 inches in Northridge, 1.93 inches in Pasadena, 1.42 inches in Santa Monica, .99 inches in Redondo Beach, and 1 inch in Downtown.

In the 24-hour period through 4 a.m. today, Northridge racked up another .69 inches, Pasadena picked up another 1.7 inches, Santa Monica accumulated another .95 inches, Redondo Beach gained another .54 inches, and Downtown saw another 1.07 inches.

Dry, sunny conditions are in the forecast again on Friday. By the time the barrage is over, the National Weather Service predicts a total of 4 to 6 inches of rain will have fallen in LA.