Areas Throughout Southern California See Record Rainfall as Storm Closes Freeways, Prompts Evacuations

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The storm pummeling Southern California Sunday was likely the strongest to hit Southern California since 2010, officials said, and brought with it a slew of complications for residents.

Long Beach Airport saw an all-time daily record rainfall of 3.87 inches, while Los Angeles Airport and Camarillo also saw record rainfall — 2.78 inches and 2.61 inches, respectively, according to the National Weather Service. Since Oct. 1, 2016, downtown Los Angeles has received 13.52 inches of rain — 216 percent of the usual rainfall in that period, the agency said.

In Monterey Bay, a new wave height record was also set at 34.12 feet, according to NWS. The previous record had been 32.8 feet, set in 2008.

The severe conditions flooded roads and freeways across the region, forcing them to shut down, and evacuations were ordered for homes in recent burn areas, including near the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita and Fish Fire in Duarte. Recent burn areas in Santa Barbara County and Silverado Canyon in Orange County were also affected.

Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Old Topanga Canyon Road was expected to be closed two to three days due to a mudslide, Caltrans District 7 tweeted. Solstice Canyon and Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains were also closed due to heavy rains, officials said.

Flash flood warnings had been issued through 4:30 p.m. for various areas — including the South Bay, L.A. Harbor, Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana and Ventura County. The advisory extended through the night for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The Los Angeles Fire Department executed water rescues for 12 people and two pets while responding to a total of 172 incidents related to the storm including flooding, debris flows, fallen trees and transformer fires, according to a statement from the city of L.A.

One emergency shelter was open at the Wilmington Greenbelt Community Center, 918 North Sanford Ave., to provide assistance to the dozens of residents displaced from their homes due to flooding.

Long Beach resident Jerry Melena said despite the damaged caused by the storm he was thankful it would ease California’s longstanding drought.

“We absolutely needed this water and it’s good to see that rain is actually doing what it’s supposed to do,” he told KTLA while overlooking the L.A. River. “That’s what these canals were made for, for water to go through, and we hadn’t seen water in years.”

Wind gusts throughout the region reached as high as 83 mph in Camp Nine in the San Gabriel Mountains, NWS said, and the strong gusts knocked down trees and power lines across Southern California. A high wind warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Sunday in the mountains of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

As of 9 p.m., power was knocked out for a total of 13,410 Southern California Edison customers in Los Angeles and Orange counties — 6,146 in Los Angeles and 7,264 in Orange, the company said. Power was expected to be restored in most areas by early morning Sunday.

Laurel Canyon Boulevard was closed in Hollywood Hills at Kirkwood Drive due to a downed tree, fire officials said. L.A. city officials had responded to at least 54 downed trees, according to a statement.

Los Angeles County health officials have also issued a beach use advisory through at least Wednesday due to rain runoff concern.