A storm that has already prompted evacuations in Glendora brought fierce winds and heavy rain to the Southland this morning.
Trace amounts of rain were recorded around midnight, but by 5 a.m. heavy rain was reported over a wide are of Los Angeles County.
The NWS expects 1-2 inches of rain in coastal and valley areas today and 2-4 inches of rain in the mountains and foothills through early Saturday morning, according to weather specialist Stuart Seto.
NWS forecasters said flash flooding was possible this morning as a result of rainfall in eastern Ventura County and Western Los Angeles County, even though it began tapering off around 4:30 a.m.
The areas threatened included Tujunga, Sunland, Lake View Terrace, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Woodland Hills, Glendale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills and, in Ventura County, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Fillmore.
The wind was expected to die down this morning. But the NWS reported that powerful gusts were recorded in much of Los Angeles County during the night, including 73 mph at Camp Nine in the San Gabriel Mountains, 61 mph in Malibu Canyon, 57 mph at Poppy Park in the Antelope Valley, 54 mph at Topanga Hills, 38 mph at Avalon Airport and 50 mph in Saugus.
The heaviest part of the storm was predicted to start between 4-5 a.m. with the heaviest rain lasting up to four hours, Seto said. Winds across the local mountains could gust up to about 70 miles per hour before and after the low-pressure trough sweeps across the Southland.
The storm prompted the Los Angeles County Fire Department to bolster its staffing levels, with an urban search-and-rescue team on standby, along with swift-water rescue teams and canine search teams.
Los Angeles County public works crews were also on standby with bulldozers and dump trucks.
Before the storm, Los Angeles city crews worked to clear storm drains throughout the city, particularly in the area near a massive fire that destroyed an under-construction apartment building downtown on Monday morning.
The city’s Emergency Operations Center was activated at midnight.
“The Fire Department has activated its swift-water rescue teams, additional flight crews and its Community Emergency Response Team members in anticipation of the storm,” Garcetti said Thursday.
“The Fire Department is also providing sandbags to residents at fire stations citywide.”
In Glendale, a homeless shelter which had been slated to open next week opened instead on Thursday. The Hope Of The Valley Hospice at 5101 N. San Fernando Road was made available for Glendale residents.
Mandatory evacuations in Glendora near the burn area of the Colby Fire began at 10 p.m. Thursday, Glendora Police Department public information officer Tricia Ayres said. It was not clear how many residences would be evacuated, Ayres said. An evacuation center was set up for residents at Teen Center, 241 W. Dawson Ave.
The neighborhood near the burn area had been under voluntary evacuation orders since mid-morning Thursday due to fears of flooding and mud and debris slides.
Residents were also ordered to remove vehicles, trash bins and other obstructions from roadways. About 20,000 sandbags were made available for residents at the Glendora City Yard at 440 S. Loraine Ave.
The evacuation area will generally affect neighborhoods north of Sierra Madre Avenue between the western city limits to the eastern boundary of properties on the west side of the Little Dalton Wash.
Goddard Middle School at 859 E. Sierra Madre Ave. in Glendora will be closed on Friday due to the storm, city officials said.
The county planned to close a 4.6-mile stretch of Lake Hughes Road south of Elizabeth Lake Road overnight due to the possibility of flooding from the Powerhouse Fire burn area in the Angeles National Forest. The road will remain closed until the storm passes and the street can be inspected.
A flash flood watch is in effect for recent burn areas in Los Angeles County. A wind advisory will be in effect until 8 a.m. from the coast to downtown Los Angeles, and San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.
The strongest winds are expected in the Los Angeles County mountains and the foothills of the Antelope Valley where gusts up to 75 mph are likely, according to the NWS.
For most other coastal and valley areas, southerly winds gusting between 35 mph and 55 mph can be expected through early this morning.
Snow levels, meanwhile, will initially be above the resort level, but dip to about 5,000 feet this afternoon.
“There could be a brief mix of rain and snow at the summit of the Grapevine on Interstate 5. However, no accumulations are expected,” according to the National Weather Service.
Snow accumulations in upper mountain elevations could reach up to 10 inches, forecasters said.
Also expected is pounding surf along the coast. A high surf advisory will remain in force through Saturday, NWS forecasters said
Forecasters said the high surf is likely to cause significant beach erosion and flood piers and jetties, low-lying areas and beachside parking lots. They said waves of between 7 and 10 feet are expected, with local sets of up to 13 feet along some west-facing beaches.
“Avoid standing on jetties, piers and rocks near the edge of the water,” warned an NWS statement. “Remember to never turn your back to the ocean during large surf events.”
Forecasters warned swimmers who may become caught up in strong rip to swim parallel to shore until they can free themselves.
“Always swim near a lifeguard,” the high surf advisory statement said.