LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The week-long heat wave in Southern California is finally fading now that Tropical Storm Kay has blanketed the region in clouds and rain, raising fears of possible flooding in mountainous areas.
Saturday’s forecast includes a 50% chance of showers, possible thunderstorms and winds up to 25 mph with a flood watch that will be in effect until 11 p.m. in the mountains of Los Angeles County. and Antelope Valley.
“Kay’s moisture will move into the area today (Friday) and persist through Saturday,” according to the National Weather Service. “Showers and thunderstorms with periods of heavy rain will at times increase the risk of flooding, especially in the mountains. The heaviest rains are expected to occur late (Friday) through Saturday evening.”
Forecasters said the rain could lead to excessive runoff resulting in “inundation of rivers, streams, creeks and other low and flood-prone places”.
Kay had been categorized as a hurricane, but weakened when it made landfall Thursday evening and then began to track northwest over the ocean. But Kay was still packing, promising to bring widespread rains to the area.
“Rainfall amounts are generally expected to be between a quarter and a half inch for the coast, a third to two-thirds inch for the valleys and a half to one and a half for the mountains,” according to the weather service. .
“For Antelope Valley, typically one-third to two-thirds of an inch is expected for the storm. Locally higher amounts could develop, especially with thunderstorms. Heavy downpours are possible across mountains and desert where the terrain will cause orographic effects that could increase precipitation rates.
The storm has already caused higher tides, raising concerns about localized flooding along the coast. In Long Beach, crews worked overnight to fortify berms and sandbags were made available to residents to help protect their properties from flooding.
Long Beach Fire and Parks officials were focusing their efforts on Alamitos Beach, building protective berms primarily between fifth and ninth.
“High tide for Long Beach will be at 9:16 p.m. tonight,” the Long Beach Fire Department said on Twitter. “Please make efforts now to prepare your homes if you live in vulnerable places along our coastline that are prone to flooding.”
The weather service warned that Kay will bring rough seas and gusty easterly winds to coastal waters through Saturday.
Strong winds are expected over Catalina and San Nicolas Islands, with a possibility of winds reaching 20 to 30 knots north to Point Conception and the Channel Islands.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said sandbags were being made available to Catalina residents on the east side of South Beach. She noted that the storm “is expected to bring wind, high waves and coastal flooding to the island.”
According to Hahn, Catalina Express canceled the 5:45 p.m. departure from San Pedro to Avalon, as well as the 7:40 p.m. boat from Avalon to San Pedro and the 9:45 p.m. departure from Avalon to Long Beach.
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