Forecasters on Sunday are urging Los Angeles area residents to avoid freeways and other roads this evening through Monday morning, as a potential life-threatening, multiple-day storm is now forecast to stall over the county when it arrives.
The National Weather Service expanded its high-risk warning for flash flooding in the area, as the slow movement of the storm will create widespread issues, causing major delays on soaked freeways and in local neighborhoods, NWS meteorologist Ryan Kittell said in a Sunday morning briefing.
While it will rain on Sunday afternoon, “very heavy” rainfall is expected from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday in Los Angeles County, with a 20% chance of thunderstorms. Heavy rainfall, around 4-8 inches now is anticipated in Los Angeles County until midnight on Tuesday, before turning into more moderate rain the rest of the day.
Mountain and foothill areas could see up to 8-14 inches – and possibly 15 inches of rain throughout that window.
“The heaviest main band of the rain looks to stall now over L.A. County,” Kittell said.
“That’s a lot of water, people,” he said. “We’re just expecting a lot of freeway flooding and road flooding, road closures. There will be a lot of flooding of parked cars … just a real mess.”
Here are the latest details on the upcoming storm. This is a DANGEROUS SYSTEM with major risks to life and property. Substantial flooding. Residents should heed any evacuation orders. Stay off the roads, especially the freeways, this afternoon through at least Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/z7uVIvKMAN
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) February 4, 2024
Those who can work remotely should do that, or at least stay off freeways during the Monday morning commute, he said.
Airport delays are expected, including at the Los Angeles International Airport, as the county anticipates wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph through Sunday night, with winds steadily increasing and peaking from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Winds should decrease later on Monday.
Residents in the La Tuna Canyon Road area north of Hollywood Burbank Airport were ordered to evacuate Sunday due to the high risk of debris flow triggered by the heavy rain. The affected area borders Horse Haven Street to the north, Martindale Avenue to the east, Penrose Street to the south, and Ledge Avenue to the west, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Evacuation centers for people and household pets have opened at Sunland Senior Citizen Center at 8640 Fenwick St. and Lake View Terrace Recreation Center at 11075 Foothill Blvd. Large animals can be evacuated to Hansen Dam Horse Park at 11127 Orcas Ave. in Lake View Terrace, and the LA Equestrian Center at 480 Riverside Drive in Burbank.
Residents can check lafd.org/alerts for updates.
Quick timing update for everyone:
🌨️ Focus of heavy rain on Orange County, Inland Empire, and San Bernardino County Mtns Today-Mon
🌨️ Moderate to heavy rain not reaching San Diego County until Mon evening
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) February 4, 2024
In Riverside County, officials on Sunday advised anyone within the San Jacinto riverbed or channels to leave immediately to higher ground as heavy rains may result in dangerous water flows in that area.
Orange County and Inland Empire areas will see light shower activity for much of Sunday, as steadier and more significant rain is expected to move in Sunday evening through Monday night, with the bulk of the rainfall occurring in that time, National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Adams said on Sunday.
Flooding also is expected in various parts of the Inland Empire, as the storm will deliver prolonged periods of rain and mountain snow, with gusty south winds in the deserts.
San Bernardino and Riverside County mountain areas should expect heavy rain as early as 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. Monday, with wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph through Sunday evening in the San Bernardino Mountains.
A wind advisory has been issued for coastal areas of Orange County, starting at noon until 10 a.m. Monday, with 15 to 25 mph winds and gusts of up to 45 mph. Residents should expect heavy rain and a moderate to high risk of potential flooding through Tuesday evening, with rainfall totals between 4 to 6 inches in Orange County, Adams said.
In the Inland Empire, rainfall will vary from 2 inches to upwards of 6 inches in areas including Chino and Ontario. The mountains also are expected to receive substantial rain, between 4 to 8 inches, as well as 6-12 inches in foothill areas near Mt. Baldy.
There also is a remote chance of a waterspout or tornado along the coast, Kittell said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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