Calif. storms go south; evacuations in Ventura Cty
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Nearly a dozen homes north of Los Angeles were evacuated over mudslide concerns, a fire captain said early Saturday, after storms that rained on the San Francisco Giants' World Series championship parade moved south.
Authorities said 11 residences in Ventura County were evacuated late Friday and early Saturday after mud and debris from a hillside struck at least two of them, partially burying one man.
Capt. Mike Lindbery of the Ventura County Fire Department said the evacuations were going on in a neighborhood in the city of Camarillo.
He said heavy rains Friday night played a role in the mud flow, but he didn't know to what extent.
A fire crew rescued the man uninjured after he became mired waist-deep in mud at his home.
Lindbery said the other homes were evacuated as a precaution because it was too dark to determine if there was the potential for mudslides from the hill.
A geologist was assessing the situation but officials are waiting for daylight to make a determination, Lindbery said.
Meanwhile, some of the evacuees took refuge at a nearby Red Cross shelter.
Elsewhere, an evacuation advisory was issued and a shelter opened in Orange County's Silverado Canyon, where about a half-inch of rain was expected early Saturday morning, county sheriff's and fire officials said.
Only residents would be allowed in the area and residents were told the evacuation advisory could be turned into an order if the situation grows more serious.
Some 200 homes were evacuated from the wildfire in September.
By late Friday night the storm had reached the Santa Barbara area, where hard rains were falling and filling streets.
In San Francisco a steady drizzle fell on the parade Friday to celebrate the Giants' third World Series win in five years
Matt Parker and Drew Kennett took a ferry from Marin County to San Francisco to attend the parade.
"Rain? What rain?" Parker joked.
"This isn't rain," Kennett said of the drizzly conditions. "This is San Francisco."
Area resident Mike Mezz, in shorts and a Giant's shirt, had his umbrella ready under the gray skies.
"I'm a San Franciscan, that's how we do it," he said. "I don't mind the rain. If it was snowing I'd still be out here. That's how much I love the Giants."
National Weather Service forecaster Matt Mehly said that while the first big storm this fall is welcome and necessary, it won't be nearly enough to affect statewide water shortages stemming from years with little rainfall.
"It's going to take several years to put a dent in the drought," he said.
The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for much of the Sierra Nevada starting at 5 p.m. Friday, with snow expected at higher elevations overnight, he said.
Ranger Cari Cobb, spokeswoman for Yosemite National Park, said in an emailed statement that Tioga and Glacier Point roads would preemptively close at 6:00 p.m. Friday.
She said they are anticipating snow at 6,000 feet, with 6 to 15 inches accumulating above 8,000 feet by late Saturday morning.
Road crews will reassess the roads after the storm to decide if and when they can reopen. They typically close in November and open in May or June.
Snows were also expected in Southern California mountains.