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Damage grows in CA

Flash flooding and mudslides continued to cause pockets of damage in southern California on Wednesday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | February 23, 2005

Flash flooding and mudslides continued to cause pockets of damage in southern California on Wednesday.

Dozens of homes have been evacuated or "red-tagged" - designated as structurally unstable - because unstable hillsides loom over them. Residents should be aware that significant mudflow is likely if more than two inches of rain falls in six hours in lowland areas, or more than four inches of rain falls in the same time period in the mountains.

Areas that have been burned by wildfires - San Diego, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties - are most vulnerable.

Los Angeles County - where several communities were evacuated - has reported more than 50 damaged homes.

San Bernardino County officials reported street flooding. About 10 homes in the Adelanto community had up to four feet of water in them.

Riverside County emergency managers indicated there are pockets of flood damage to homes throughout the county.

The American Red Cross opened one shelter on Monday in Ventura County in La Conchita, the site of a deadly landslide last month that killed 10 people and damaged 12 homes. The shelter was closed by Tuesday.

Lutheran Disaster Response representatives were attending initial organizing meetings in anticipation of meeting long-term recovery needs that will arise in the worst-hit areas.

The U.S. Geological Survey extended a landslide and debris flow advisory for southern California through Wednesday.

Nine deaths have been blamed on the recent severe weather. But improvement is in sight. After a last burst of thunderstorms Wednesday morning, dryer air will move in.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials from Region IX reported they were monitoring the situation.

Earlier this week, northern California also was hit by severe thunderstorms and hail. Two small tornadoes touched down near Sacramento, uprooting trees and causing roof damage.


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