Cleanup from Southern California storm begins even as more rain poses additional danger


LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Southern California communities are cleaning up and digging out after a multiday atmospheric river storm flooded streets, knocked down trees and took out power throughout the region.

In the city of Los Angeles alone, crews responded to some 475 mudslide reports, in addition to at least 390 fallen trees, officials said Tuesday afternoon. And city crews had to restore power to about 60,000 customers.

In one Brentwood neighborhood, residents are recovering from the toppling of a massive eucalyptus tree that blocked their main route out of the community and knocked out a power pole.

“It’s a big mess,” said resident Danielle Sterling. “I’ve been stuck in my house all day, I couldn’t get my kids to school, I couldn’t go to work. It’s kind of been a mess.”

The tree was so massive – its roots alone were 8-9 feet long – that city crews were not able to immediately remove it from the road.

For most, the only way to exit the neighborhood was to leave their cars behind, walk down the hill and then rely on ridesharing or friends.

A few miles to the east, mud had cascaded down a hillside in Benedict Canyon, blowing a window – on the second story – of a home on Cielo Drive. It was a reminder of the danger that saturated hillsides continue to pose.

Although the heaviest part of the storm had passed the region by Tuesday evening, some rain is expected to continue Wednesday and Thursday. Authorities warned residents to remain on their guard, as even relatively light showers could cause the ground to shift.

“Our hillsides are already saturated,” Mayor Karen Bass said. “So even not-very-heavy rains could still lead to additional mudslides.”

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