Stormy weather brings slide worries to Southern California

Associated Press

Los Angeles — Residents of several Southern California mountain and canyon communities were urged to voluntarily leave their homes Thursday because of possible mud and debris flows as potentially heavy rain approached.

The precautions were recommended as precipitation that had mostly been falling in Northern California this week spread into the southern half of the state.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for areas east and southeast of Los Angeles starting Thursday evening because of possible heavy overnight rain fed by an atmospheric river, a long plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean.

Evacuation warnings were issued by Orange County authorities for three canyons near a wildfire burn scar where rain last week unleashed muddy torrents. A county statement said residents were “strongly encouraged to prepare and evacuate.”

Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said.

Similar warnings were issued by San Bernardino County authorities for a half-dozen areas in mountains east of Los Angeles.

Elsewhere, tire chains were required on several major routes through the Sierra Nevada and a stretch of coastal Highway 1 was closed south of Big Sur due to weather, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Periods of rain and snow were predicted for California through Christmas and into next week.