It Doesn’t Take Much To Cause Trouble In SoCal

boulder on road

The 4:00 PM PST rainfall totals are in for our second storm. If this was the East Coast or Midwest these numbers would be no big deal. Here in SoCal the bar for weather related tsuris is much lower.

canyone-road-blockedWe’ve had mud and rockslides, trees falling on homes and cars, rescues from the concrete channel known as the LA River and mandatory evacuations in Azusa and Glendora.

We’re not done! There’s another 1-2″ or rain due through early Sunday.

The threshold is lower now. The ground is saturated.

Helaine was shaking her head earlier as we watched a homeowner from Azusa interviewed on TV. He was talking about his fears. Mud was already flowing into his yard. He expected part of a hillside to let loose, wiping out a stand of avocado trees and probably taking down his substantial backyard fence. Left unsaid, whether his house might be destroyed too.

dozer debris removalWhy do people live in these susceptible areas? Simply put, it’s gorgeous.

If all you looked at was the hazards, no one would live in SoCal. We’re prone to fires, floods, slides, quakes and more. Of course everyone looks at those hazards, remembers the rest of the SoCal climate, then compartmentalizes them out of the equation.

After every disaster the most repeated word is, “rebuild.”

.ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS
 
 ID:     STATION            PRECIP(IN)    ELEV(FT)
 
 SDYBL:  YORBA LINDA            1.69         370         
 SDFRH:  LAKE FOREST            1.44         970         
 SJNC1:  SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO    1.34          75         
 SDLGH:  LAGUNA HILLS           1.27         400         
 SDSAA:  SANTA ANA              1.14         130         
 FUL  :  FULLERTON              1.13          96         
 SNA  :  JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT     1.12          50         
 CTMC1:  COSTA MESA             1.10          47         
 SDDPC:  DANA POINT             1.01         305         
 LGUC1:  LAGUNA BEACH           0.90          47         
 SDHTB:  HUNTINGTON BEACH       0.89           5     

  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN  
AVALON INLAND..................... 1.29  
HAWTHORNE (KHHR).................. 1.40  
LA AIRPORT(KLAX).................. 1.62  
LA DOWNTOWN (CQT)................. 2.28  
LONG BEACH (KLGB)................. 1.03  
SANTA MONICA (KSMO)............... 1.68  
REDONDO BEACH..................... 1.28  
TORRANCE.......................... 1.11  
MONTE NIDO........................ 2.48  
BEL AIR........................... 2.60  
CULVER CITY....................... 1.30  
GETTY CENTER...................... 2.58  
BEVERLY HILLS..................... 2.39  
HOLLYWOOD RESERVOIR............... 2.01  
SOUTH GATE........................ 1.28  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY VALLEYS  
VAN NUYS (KVNY)................... 2.60  
NORTHRIDGE........................ 2.08  
WOODLAND HILLS.................... 2.63  
AGOURA HILLS...................... 3.11  
CHATSWORTH RESERVOIR.............. 2.27  
CANOGA PARK....................... 2.21  
PACOIMA DAM....................... 2.80  
HANSEN DAM........................ 2.42  
NEWHALL........................... 2.99  
SAUGUS............................ 1.47  
DEL VALLE......................... 1.45  
EAGLE ROCK RESERVOIR.............. 2.60  
PASADENA.......................... 2.64  
ALHAMBRA.......................... 2.06  
EATON DAM......................... 2.36  
LA VERNE.......................... 1.61  
SANTA FE DAM...................... 2.19  
POMONA............................ 1.12  
CLAREMONT......................... 1.28  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS  
SANDBERG (KSDB)................... 2.18  
INSPIRATION POINT................. 3.35  
WEST FORK HELIPORT................ 5.67  
SANTA ANITA DAM................... 2.79  
SAN GABRIEL DAM................... 4.72  
MORRIS DAM........................ 3.19  
CRYSTAL LAKE...................... 5.78  
OPIDS CAMP........................ 6.33  
SIERRA MADRE...................... 2.39  
TANBARK........................... 3.16  
SAN ANTONIO DAM................... 1.67  
MILL CREEK SUMMIT................. 1.28  
CHILAO............................ 1.27  
MT BALDY.......................... 4.52  
WHITAKER PEAK..................... 3.58  
WARM SPRINGS...................... 2.38  
ACTON............................. 1.66  
CAMP 9............................ 2.06  
  
.LOS ANGELES COUNTY DESERTS  
POPPY PARK........................ 2.64  
LANCASTER (KWJF).................. 1.54  
PALMDALE (KPMD)................... 1.02  
LAKE PALMDALE..................... 0.63  
SADDLEBACK BUTTE.................. 0.36  
VALYERMO.......................... 2.54  

8 Responses to “It Doesn’t Take Much To Cause Trouble In SoCal”

  1. Carole says:

    Geoff, are you glad you moved to So CA now? There are certain places I would avoid living for the reasons you mentioned, knowing they are apt to brush & forest fires, earthquake, floods & etc. Would you have moved into a different location if you bought a house today in CA?

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Our home has minimal exposure to fire, floods and slides. So, yes, I’d get it again. However, if I was given a canyonside home overlooking Malibu or Laguna (at an affordable price), I’d take my chances for the view.

      • Carole says:

        There are some beautiful homes with great views in both Laguna Beach and Malibu, but they are not cheap. Another area in So. CA is Pacific Palisades, that is beautiful. It is just north of Long Beach. Living along the coast line is great, but you’ll find sandy soil. If an earthquake occurs, your house is subject to slip into the ocean. With a lot of rain, like you have encountered lately, you could have the same problem.

        I was in a house in Laguna Beach years ago, you would love. Talk about having a great view, nothing could compare with this one. Where the cliff stopped, the house started. When you looked out your window, they only thing you saw was the Pacific Ocean.

  2. Robert~West Haven says:

    I’ll suffer with good ol’ Connecticut. Unless some really bad happens then I’m off to Nova Scotia.

  3. Gammie says:

    Oh I don’t know Geoff I would rather deal with shoveling snow in CT that melt’s away sooner or later than shoveling mud and rocks that stays in a big ugly lump.

  4. Barb B says:

    It was a problem 50 years ago, and it is still a problem today. And yes—the main conversation after the event is “rebuild”. And we wonder why everyone’s insurance goes up! But as you said, or are learning—the rest of the year is fine. And the mud slides generally occur in the areas that have been burnt out in the recent past, or even up to a year ago.
    Local & Nat’l TV out here carried the LA river rescues. I always wonder about the people that get caught in them—they know that it will go from dry cement gulch to above flood stage raging white water in minutes with any prolonged downpour.
    But speaking of building in ‘danger zones’—I think everyone has those, no matter where you live. Look at the sink holes that are opening up in FL (and even some here in Western CT). Or people who unknowingly buy on what used to be a swamp, but is now filled in, and then with flooding rains–find their basement with 3 ft. of water in it. I just would not like living somewhere that I might have to evacuate from a couple of times a year.

  5. Great Site; I grew up in Azusa and remember the flooding of 65; My mother took me to the see the water released at Sante Fe Dam; right up close, I was only 3 then, but it made a lasting impression. Wondering if the Dam is that full yet? I am living in Okinawa Japan now, so I have to search for news about my hometown
    Chris

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Hi Chris – As far as I can tell this isn’t publicly gauged. I know it was at 1/3 capacity this summer, so it was certainly lower than that before this weekend. There were evacuations on Ridge View in Azusa.

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