Officials in San Bernardino and Orange counties were bracing for the possibility of more damage and chaos as another storm was set to bring rain and snow to Southern California, possibly as early as Sunday afternoon.
The storm could potentially bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to coastal and valley areas and 2 to 5 inches of rain to the mountain areas this coming week in the areas of western Riverside and southwestern San Bernardino counties as well as Orange and Los Angeles counties, with snow expected at higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS office in San Diego said light rain is expected on Sunday until Monday afternoon. From there, heavier rain will arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday throughout Orange County and the Inland Empire.
In the Los Angeles area, light showers are expected to begin on Sunday with the more intense rain happening on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, according to Carol Smith, a meteorologist for NWS Oxnard.
According to Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist for NWS San Diego, a flood advisory may be issued later, depending on rainfall levels.
As it relates to snow, there could be 1 to 3 inches in the mountains. The snow could reach as low as 3,000 feet and should be 1-2 inches in the areas above 6,000 feet, forecasters said.
The storm might not be the last one of the year as another could come around next week, Smith and Maxwell said.
In a Saturday statement, San Bernardino County officials warned residents to be prepared “for a new round of rain and snow expected to arrive as early as Sunday afternoon.”
Officials said the storm was expected to peak Tuesday and Wednesday and could bring as much as three feet of additional snow to communities already hit hard in late February and early March.
Residents in some mountain communities like Crestline and Lake Arrowhead were snowed in under 10 feet of snow during the worst of the storms in late February, leaving many considered and searching for ways to replenish food supply and get essential medicines. They also became frustrated with county officials who struggled to get equipment up the mountain to plow roads.
County officials on Saturday said they were preparing for the storms by having all public works operations employees, seasonal employees and all on-call contractors activated for snow plowing and storm control on split shifts for 24-hour coverage.
In addition, County Flood Control District crews, swift-water rescue teams and extra San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were being assigned to handle various issues that could arise due to the storms, officials said. The San Bernardino County Fire Department made a request to the State Office of Emergency Services for 10 engine crews from other California agencies to be dispatched as needed.
County officials were also prepared to activate the Telephone Emergency Notification System to warn residents who might be in danger.
Residents were urged to limit travel, maintain at least a two-week supply of food, water, medications, essential equipment and fuel, stay clear of moving water and keep an eye out for snow and ice sliding down from rooftops, county officials said.
More information and recommendations would be made available through the county’s information line at 909-387-3911.
The storm could have impacts on Orange County areas like Newport Beach and San Clemente, which have suffered devastating landslides in recent weeks that led to one home being demolished in the Dover Shores neighborhood and several others close to the edges of cliffsides.
Those slides were bad enough that President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency Thursday.
“(It’s) a very serious concern for the city,” San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said Saturday. “This will be additional moisture on the slope and that consistent rain over several hours, that is what has destablized the slope.
“We’re concerned there’s going to be further movement and potentially further damage to the patios and the structures themselves,” Duncan added.
Geologists have surveyed the slope behind homes in the 1500 block of Buena Vista, but officials were still waiting for the full briefing because of additional movement since the initial slide Thursday morning, Duncan said.
Residents throughout the city were asked to be observant and to pay attention to cracking and top level vegetation moving, Duncan said.
“Immediately report that so we can get on the scene as soon as possible because now we know the signs of potential land movement,” Duncan said.
In Newport Beach, officials Thursday said city crews installed temporary pumps to divert water away from homes and down to the Back Bay.
City officials were not immediately available Saturday to provide updates or comment on concerns regarding whether the upcoming storm could lead to further damage.
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