40 homes evacuated as rain bears down on Station fire burn areas

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From the L.A. Times

At least 40 homes are being evacuated tonight in the La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon areas of the San Gabriel Mountains as heavy rain continues to bear down on Southern California, stranding motorists, prompting flash flood warnings and sending minor mud and debris flows onto foothill roads.

Earlier this evening, the occupants of 90 vehicles were stranded on the Angeles Crest Highway because of heavy mud, and about 50 of them took temporary refuge inside a mountain restaurant. They and their vehicles were towed down about 6:30 p.m. by Angeles National Forest Service trucks, said Mike Noxin, an assistant manager at Newcomb’s Ranch restaurant, 27 miles up Angeles Crest Highway from La Cañada Flintridge.

“Everybody was just looking to get down off the mountain,” said Noxin, who took in the stranded motorists.

The highway had been closed earlier because of rain, but some motorists made it through just before mud descended from the wildfire-denuded mountains, making stretches of the highway impassable.

“We are in process of completely sealing it off,” Capt. Frank Reynoso of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said earlier today. Eighty-five firefighters were dispatched to the stuck vehicles while law enforcement officials directed traffic away from the area, Reynoso said.

Meantime, Rich Phelps of the U.S. Forest Service said at least 40 homes in the Station fire burn area were being evacuated. It was unclear whether those evacuations were voluntary or ordered.

[Updated at 7:44 p.m.: A spokesman for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said the evacuations, which cover 44 homes in La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta, are voluntary.

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Written by Times Community News

December 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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