Evacuations ordered in Southern Calif. as Pacific storm brings mudslide risk

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:14 AM PT — Tuesday, January 15, 2018

Parts of California still recovering from last year’s devastating wildfires are now bracing for mudslides.

Meteorologists made the warning Tuesday as a so-called Pacific storm hit Southern California earlier this week, dumping heavy rains and snow from the areas of Santa Barbara down to San Diego.

Mandatory evacuations in high-risk areas were issued Monday, but many were later downgraded to voluntary evacuations.

This photo provided by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) shows a skiploader clearing a river of mud that has flowed onto Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. The first in a series of Pacific storms is moving across Southern California, where downpours could unleash mud and debris flows from large wildfire burn scars. (CalTrans via AP)

Officials have also warned the conditions left behind by the ‘Woolsey’ and ‘Holy’ fires last year have created the perfect conditions for landslides.

“So, the thresholds are 0.8 inches (2 cm) per hour and this storm is predicted to produce rain of an inch (2.5 cm) per hour, but unfortunately the storm is unstable, it has potential for thunderstorms — that makes forecasting difficult for our weather folks,” stated Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

Meanwhile, several schools across the Los Angeles area have been canceled Tuesday in response to the evacuations orders.

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