Incoming storm prompts mandatory evacuations in Duarte’s Fish fire impact area – The Pasadena Star-News
DUARTE >> Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for homes below the recent Fish fire burn area in Duarte Sunday morning as a powerful storm threatened to drop as much as 6 inches of rain in the area, prompting fears of mudslides and flooding.
The evacuation orders are to take effect at 7 a.m. as the city activated a Red Alert for the impacted neighborhoods, which surround Valley View Park and Valley View Elementary School, city officials said in a written statement.
The evacuation zone includes portions of Deerlane Drive, Melcanyon Road, Brookridge Road, Mountaincrest Road, Greenbank Avenue and Bettyhill Avenue. Police and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers went door-to-door Saturday night notifying residents of the evacuations.
• Map: Fish fire burn area
The storm is expected to reach the area around 9 a.m.
“Although the timing could fluctuate, the heaviest rainfall is expected between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and between 4 to 6 inches in total rain is expected,” according to the city statement.
“Widespread, heavy downpours could cause mud and debris flows more extensive than Friday’s on Melcanyon Road and adjacent streets, which resulted in over 2,800 cubic yards of mud.”
Rates of up to an inch of rain per hour are predicted, which is well above the threshold authorities say can trigger mudslides. And the denuded hillsides are already saturated with water from the previous days’ rain.
The Duarte Community Center at 1600 Huntington Drive will open as an evacuation center at 7 a.m., officials said. It will remain open as long as mandatory evacuation orders are in place.
City officials urged evacuees to take with them any medicines or other items they will need for a minimum of 48 hours. Meals will be provided at the evacuation center, and county animal control officials will also be on-hand to tend to evacuees’ pets.
“Please note, residents under mandatory evacuation orders will not be allowed back into their homes until the orders are officially lifted by Duarte public safety officials,” the statement said. “Residents that refuse to evacuate must be prepared to shelter in place until evacuation orders are lifted.
Residents of the Fish fire impact area can pick up filled sandbags at the corner of Brookridge and Opal Canyon roads. Unfilled sandbags are also available at Los Angeles County Fire Station 44, 1105 Highland Avenue.
“If you feel conditions are unsafe to evacuate, move to the highest safe place in your residence and shelter in place,” according to the statement.
Residents of the affected neighborhoods were also directed to remove all vehicles, trash bins or other obstructions from the street before evacuating, or they will be removed by authorities.
The Fish fire ignited in June and scorched more than 2,500 acres of vegetation before being extinguished by firefighters.