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Rain expected to ease up today

Weather service issues warnings for parts of Santa Clarita Valley

Posted: October 13, 2009 10:33 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2009 10:28 p.m.

Two women sheild themselves with umbrellas as they walk in the wind and rain on the corner of Lyons Avenue and Wiley Canyon road Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch and a high wind warning for parts of the Santa Clarita Valley, forecasting heavy overnight rains Tuesday that would probably ease up tonight.

The flood warnings were in effect for areas burned by the recent Station Fire, officials said, which includes part of Acton.

During the day Tuesday, light rain wet the Santa Clarita Valley and authorities saw a rash of minor traffic collisions.

“They’re mostly fender-benders,” said Inspector Matt Levesque of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “We haven’t had any calls at this point that have been serious, that have been related to weather conditions.”

Saugus resident Vincent Smith said drivers around him on Interstate 5 seemed to be cautious.

“They’re not going crazy yet,” Smith said.

Smith, a New York native, said he welcomed the rain because “we need it for our environment” and “we needed a switch” in weather.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, less than half an inch of rain had fallen in parts of the Santa Clarita Valley, said weather specialist Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.

Seto said the “big push” of rain was likely to hit after midnight Tuesday and continue into the morning hours today. The weather service forecasts clouds will clear and temperatures will warm up starting Thursday, Seto said.

“Thursday through Tuesday look mostly clear,” Seto said. “temperatures (start) warming again probably in the low to mid 80s Thursday (until) Saturday,” he said.

The California Highway Patrol also responded to several collisions throughout the day, said Officer Michelle Esposito.

“Anytime we have the first rain, it brings up the oil from roadway and causes several collisions because people don’t adjust their speed,” Esposito said. “So it’s their speed that causes the collisions, not the rain.”

Monrovia resident Jeff Caldwell said he tried to drive more slowly, keep more distance from other cars, avoid skidding and stay away from flooded areas on his drive to Santa Clarita.

“I haven’t seen any accidents, which is surprising given the first storm of the season,” he said.

In his drive along Interstate 210 and I-5 to a business meeting in Santa Clarita, Caldwell said the traffic was “light.”

A flash flood warning for areas burned by The Station Fire remains in effect through the afternoon today, Seto said.

Levesque said the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has worked aggressively to put up concrete rails in areas prone to flooding.


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