A second day of rain in drought-parched Southern California flooded roads and sent mud sliding down parts of the state scorched by wildfires Wednesday, as the first series of El Niño storms hit the region.
A flash flood warning was issued for the Solimar burn area in Ventura County Wednesday morning as heavy rain swept through, the National Weather Service said.
A section of major interstate I-5 in northern Los Angeles flooded, the California Department of Transportation said. Standing water shut down a lane of State Route 101 in Ventura County Wednesday, and mud damaged two homes in Pasadena, officials said.
In Camarillo Springs, which was struck by a mudslide that buried homes last year, there was a minor debris flow but no major damage was reported, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Video taken in the northern part of the county showed mud and water cascading down a hillside and onto a roadway.
Los Angeles authorities spent days getting homeless people from low-lying areas along the Los Angeles River and other waterways prone to flooding. Shuttles were available to shelters that had room for as many as 6,000 beds, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
"We're not going to charge them with things," Garcetti told The Associated Press. "But we will use the force of law — there is law on the books that they can't be there."
It's estimated that parts of Santa Barbara and the Simi Valley got over four inches of rain as of 1 p.m. local time Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Around an inch was estimated to have fallen on Los Angeles.
There have been no deaths reported, but at least one person was rescued by bystanders after a homeless encampment flooded in Ventura County, a spokesperson for the fire department said.
Los Angeles Fire Department scoured a six-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River in Canoga Park Wednesday after a report that a child may have been seen near a bridge. No victim was found and the report was not substantiated, the department said.
On Tuesday, a single day rainfall record was broken after 1.42 inches of rain fell at Los Angeles International Airport, surpassing the 1.32 single day rainfall recorded there in 1979, the weather service said.
Another storm is forecast for the region Thursday. This year's El Niño is forecast to tie the strength of the weather system seen in in 1997 and 1998, which is regarded as one of the most destructive ever.