Expect rain starting tonight and lasting through early Saturday, with a particularly heavy rainfall expected Friday as a result of the season’s strongest storm yet, forecasters said, warning of flash floods and high winds.
Up to an inch of rain per hour is expected in the region on Friday, with early estimates showing 3 to 6 inches of rain in coastal and valley areas and between 5 and 10 inches of rain in the San Gabriel mountains and foothills, forecasters said.
Tonight’s rain will come from California’s Central Coast today, according to a statement from the National Weather Service (NWS), with a stronger wave generated by a second storm system expected to slam the Southland Friday morning.
“Strong southerly winds combined with ample moisture will lead to periods of very heavy rain, with rain rates at times of around 1 inch per hour,'' an NWS statement said, adding that the rain would taper off Saturday morning, causing the threat of flash flooding to disappear around noon, although scattered showers are possible through Saturday evening.
A flash flood watch is in effect from Friday morning through Saturday morning for the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and southern Santa Barbara. The greatest threat of flooding and debris flow will be recent burn areas. Forecasters said there will also be likely widespread urban roadway flooding, along with potential flooding of small streams and creeks.
Long Beach city crews are preparing for the storms by clearing thousands of catch basins, fortifying sand berms on the beach, installing debris booms to prevent trash from entering marina areas, installing plugs in the Naples sea wall to prevent flooding and deploying additional staff, among other preparations.
Boat owners are advised to secure their vessels in the city marinas.
Those in need of sand and sandbags can head to the following Long Beach fire stations: Station 7, 2295 Elm Street; Station 12, 1199 Artesia Boulevard; Station 13, 2475 Adriatic Avenue; Station 14, 5200 Eliot Street. Bags for sand are available at all neighborhood fire stations and the 72nd Place lifeguard station.
Residents need to bring their own shovel or tool when collecting sand, according to the city release.
Sand is also available at the Long Beach Public Works/Public Service Yard, at 1651 San Francisco Avenue, at the Esther Street Gate.
In addition, city officials advise residents to avoid swimming in coastal waters for three days following the end of the rainstorm, due to possible unhealthy conditions from runoff.
Residents are also advised to avoid areas subject to sudden flooding; avoid driving through flooded roads or walking across a flowing stream of water; slow down at intersections and treat those with non-working signal lights as stop signs; secure personal property and vehicles in areas prone to flooding; avoid unnecessary trips; dress in warm, loose layers of clothing when traveling and advise others of your destination and estimated arrival time; be aware of utility workers in or near the road; stay off sand berms and away from city vehicles and machinery when in use along the coastline; keep pets inside; place refuse and recycling carts on the parkway or driveway apron; report street flooding or downed trees by calling (562) 570-2700.
El Dorado Nature Center trails will likely need to be closed due to the amount of rainfall forecast, according to the release. Call (562) 570-1745 for updated information.
Click here and here for information on disaster preparedness.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Above, left picture: file photo.