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Rain menaces Rose Parade

first_imgA trio of rain storms is expected to drench Southern California beginning today and lasting through the long holiday weekend – with the biggest likely to hit just ahead of the Tournament of Roses Parade, weather forecasters said. If rain pours from the skies on Monday, which forecasters say is increasingly likely, it would be the first wet Rose Parade in 51 years. The first of three Pacific storms brought light showers to the outer edges of Los Angeles County Wednesday as it moved south from the Central Coast. But forecasters said each subsequent storm will be stronger than the last. “The second storm (due late Friday or early Saturday) will bring some subtropical showers, and has some potential for flooding,” said weather specialist Bonnie Bartling with the National Weather Service, based in Oxnard. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “A lot of times you get several storms in a row, just like you get nice days in a row.” But it’s the third storm that has the potential to produce the heaviest rain in Los Angeles County on Monday, weather forecasters said. The system could bring in 2 to 4 inches of rain, which means residents who live near or below recent burn areas in Burbank and the western San Fernando Valley should be prepared to protect their properties from mud slides. Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said they were not preparing anything special for burned unincorporated areas following the wildfire that scorched 25,000 acres of brush from Chatsworth to Thousand Oaks. “We do have sand bags and sand prepositions at many of the fire stations throughout the city and those are available to residents only for personal use,” said Los Angeles Fire spokesman Ron Myers. Residents needing bags are asked to call their local fire station to find out which stations have supplies, he said. “We would hope that residents in the last few months have … made as much preparations as possible,” he said. Along the coast, Los Angeles County lifeguards were expecting some high swells for Monday, especially in Manhattan Beach. “It’s cloudy. It definitely looks like a storm is coming in,” said Darren Nelson, Ocean Lifeguard Specialist stationed at Venice Beach. “It’s going to start building up slowly. Monday’s when people should come and bring their cameras.” The California Highway Patrol is also bracing for what could be a busy weekend due to holiday travelers returning home on slippery roads. Flood warnings were also in effect in Northern California, where rains have swelled rivers to their highest levels in seven years. Steady downpours and rising rivers led to an evacuation, scattered power outages, and flooded roads and parks. Water district officials in Sacramento closed a flood gate on the American River as a precaution. “People will be coming back from vacation, so traffic will build up,” said CHP spokesman Officer Joe Zizi. “It’s a fact of life we will have accidents.” He said motorists who break down should get to the right shoulder or off the freeway; make sure vehicles are properly maintained; turn headlights on if windshield wipers are on; and stay five car lengths from the vehicle in front. Meanwhile, those preparing floats from scratch for the Tournament of Roses Parade said it was still too early to panic about the gloomy weather forecast. Volunteers working on Burbank’s entry inside the city’s Water and Power facility were hoping the parade’s theme, “It’s Magical,” will bode true. “We’re a little nervous, but at this point in the week, it’s too early to be too worried,” said Jon Reeves, head of construction for the project. “It’s a hive of activity in here.” About 150 volunteers had signed in on Wednesday, ready to glue on fresh flowers. Burbank’s entry features a parade of three elephants, with the leading elephant crashing into a stand on wheels to get at some peanuts. But weather specialist Bartley had some advice. “Definitely, take an umbrella,” she said. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more