California storm follows fires, bringing new round of danger

The same Californians who had to flee from huge wildfires in recent months now have to handle hard rains that bring another type of danger.

Storms dumped rain and increased the risk of mudslides in fire-ravaged communities.

Northern California was hit hardest Monday evening, while Southern California was bracing for the worst to arrive overnight.

Both regions have been plagued with destructive wildfires.

Property owners stacked sandbags in devastated northern wine country areas where deadly fires hit in October and well over an inch of rain had fallen Monday night.

To the south in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, evacuations were called for over 20,000 people in neighborhoods below hillsides laid bare by the state’s largest wildfire in modern history. Mud and debris flows were a serious threat.

“Creeks that normally would be dry would turn into raging rivers of mud and debris and large rocks and trees,” said Robert Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management. “These can be quite damaging. They’ll destroy roads, they’ll take out homes.”

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