BREAKING NEWS: Evacuation notices begin

Los Angeles County Fire Batallion Chief Steve Martin spoke at the Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting on Thursday concerning the recent rain storms, the storms expected tomorrow and new evacuations set for Friday.

By Mary O’Keefe

In anticipation of rain this weekend, residents living in identified flood danger zones in La Crescenta and La Cañada will be receiving phone calls and notices to evacuate beginning on Friday, Feb. 19 at noon. Deputies will be asking residents to be out of their homes by 4 p.m.

“We will begin door knock [notification] tomorrow,” said Capt. Dave Silversparre. “Some residents will be asked to make certain their trash cans and vehicles are off the street.”

Last weekend deputies and volunteers from Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station distributed notices to homes concerning the street policy.  During the recent rains vehicles became battering rams as debris pushed them down the flooded streets.

A total of 188 homes, 42 in La Crescenta and 146 in La Cañada, will be notified of the evacuation by Alert L.A. County phone system tonight and at noon on Friday.

“This is a unified command decision,” Silversparre said.

The Captain had been on the phone throughout Thursday with representatives from public works, fire and county officials as they monitored the upcoming storm and adjusted their response accordingly.

“There is more rain than originally predicted,” he said of the decision to move forward with evacuation plans.

Bonnie Bartling, weather specialist at the National Weather Service, said the fast moving rain storm is expected to arrive Friday night. The heaviest rain will last about three to four hours.

“The front will go through Friday night and early Saturday morning,” Bartling said.

The storm should drop about an inch to an inch and a half of rain. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms, which provide the greatest chance for brief periods of rain.

“Rain rates can be a half an inch an hour which would exceed the U.S. Geologic Survey’s debris flow threshold,” she said.

Showers are more than likely to continue sporadically throughout Saturday.

Then the second storm will hit.

“The next one is expected to be similar in strength and speed. It will begin Sunday and continue to Monday,” she said.

The weather service is monitoring other storms that may follow next week.

“There may be a possibility of showers beyond [Monday]. It does look like there could be activity; we are [continuing] to monitor the [system],” Bartling added.

At press time there had been no evacuation notices sent to residents living in the Glendale/La Crescenta area.

The city officials are monitoring the situation but at this point do not anticipate any evacuations, said Glendale Fire Capt. Vince Rifino.

La Crescenta evacuations include two homes on Starfall Drive, one on Pineglen Road, one on Pinecone Road, one on Pennsylvania Avenue, four on Maurice Avenue, nine on Canyonside Drive and 24 on Harmony Way.

Continue to check the Crescenta Valley Weekly website for updates including shelters and road closures as they occur.