Mudslides created after heavy rain storms hit the city of Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Record-setting rainfall has drenched Southern California since Feb. 4, causing flooding and mudslides, with the damage reaching up to $11 billion in costs.
Accuweather.com estimated on Feb. 7 that the destruction across the state could amount to $9 billion to $11 billion, with the rainfall, flooding, and mudslides still taking their toll on some of the most heavily populated and high-income areas of California. And not all areas have reported their damage, the site said.
Downtown Los Angeles received 2.93 inches of rain on Monday, surpassing the previous record for that day of 2.30 inches in 1901, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Los Angeles also saw the third highest rainfall within a two-day period since 1877, when rain totals started being recorded, reaching 7.03 inches for Sunday and Monday, nearly half of the city’s seasonal average, according to the NWS.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been more than 500 reports of mudslides in Los Angeles, according to city officials.
At least 35 incidents of buildings required inspection because of mudslides and slope failures as of Monday afternoon, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley. Five buildings were red-tagged as uninhabitable and seven others were yellow-tagged, which allows people to gather their belongings before evacuating.
Fire Department crews escorted 15 residents out of the area—including nine children—in the Hollywood Hills after a mudslide caused major damage to six homes along Beverly Drive in the Beverly Crest area, according to Ms. Crowley.
Emerging from a home surrounded by mud in the Beverly Glen neighborhood, just east of Beverly Crest in Beverly Hills, Calif., one man who was checking on the homes of his contacts told The Epoch Times how grateful the owners were that their home was spared from extensive storm damages.
Heavy rainfall causes mudslides in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Mudslides hit the hillside communities of Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
“They were out of town when this happened, but it looks like the mud flowed around the home,” he said. “The homes next to theirs will have some work to do once this storm is over.”
The small road leading up to several of the neighboring houses was consumed by a thick layer of mud that would need heavy land-moving equipment for removal.
“This kind of weather never really happens here in L.A.,” he said.
Two homes in Studio City, a neighborhood north of Los Angeles, also saw significant damage when mud and debris slid down a hillside along Lockridge Road, where fire crews had to evacuate residents from nine homes in the area, according to the fire department. Homes in the Tarzana and Encino area, just east of Calabasas, were also damaged from a flow of debris along Boris Drive.
Flooding has led to several road closures, as well as evacuations orders and warnings in place for many areas. The entire Sepulveda Basin, which includes golf courses, a sports complex, and wildlife reserve in Encino remains off limits, while the Pacific Coast Highway near the border of Los Angeles County and Ventura County border is closed on the northbound side from flooding.
Further south, the San Diego River is hovering “just below minor flood stage” with the overflow of water impacting roads around the Fashion Mall, according to The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel in a social media post Jan. 6.
Runners jog along the Los Angeles River during a rainstorm in Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
In Northern California, Santa Cruz County was hit with wind gusts stronger than 60 miles per hour Sunday, toppling over large eucalyptus trees in some areas and smashing cars on one hillside, according to Mr. Seidel Feb. 5.
The National Weather Service warned residents in the Coastal North Bay that large swells are expected to bring breaking “sneaker” waves up to 10 feet to area beaches late into the night Jan. 6. Such can sweep the beach without warning and pull people into the sea from rocks, jetties, the beach, or move large objects such as logs, crushing people in their path, officials warned. The large waves are expected at Point Reyes National Seashore, San Francisco Peninsula Coast, Northern Monterey Bay and Southern Monterey Bay and Big Sur Coast Counties.
The California Department of Water Resources Monday chose to release excess storm water through the gated spillway at Pyramid Dam in Los Angeles County, which will allow the water to be stored downstream in Lake Piru in Ventura County for the future, the department said in an announcement
Officials also said the storms are allowing aquifers under the surface to fill, which will help increase groundwater supplies, in an announcement
The Los Angeles River fills with rain water after a recent storm in Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
For homeless individuals seeking refuge, the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has increased shelter and housing voucher availability, with shelters opening at the Lincoln Heights Senior Citizen Center at 2323 Workman St., Mid Valley Senior Citizen Shelter at 8825 Kester Ave. in Panorama City, South LA Sports Activity Center at 7020 S. Figueroa St. and Oakwood Recreation Center at 767 California Ave, according to the authority.
Residents can call 2-1-1 for transportation to a shelter.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in eight counties in the state, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, while Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Monday signed a local state of emergency declaration. The declarations will help speed up the delivery of vital supplies and resources, deployment of disaster responders, and the issuing of evacuation orders, according to officials.
City News Service contributed to this report.