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Monrovia Flash Flood Watch Below Madison Fire Area: Friday Especially Dangerous; Prepare to Evacuate


Monrovia residents living in the Madison Fire area (north of Hillcrest Blvd between Madison Avenue and Alta Vista Avenue) are advised that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that there are two storms headed toward Monrovia with the potential to deliver heavy rain and dangerous mud flows.

The first storm will begin late Wednesday night from around Midnight to 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning.  This storm is anticipated to be slow moving, with ½” to 1” of rain expected with no thunderstorms.

The second storm is a larger event that may precipitate mudslides.  Heavy rain is expected after 3:00 - 4:00 a.m. Friday morning through Saturday.  This is projected to be a fast moving storm which will likely bring thunderstorms, unstable air masses and heavy downpours.  The heaviest accumulation of rain will come between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. possibly totaling up to 3”-5” rainfall by Saturday afternoon in the foothills.

A NOAA Flash Flood watch will remain in effect from Thursday, February 27 to Saturday, March 1 in all burn areas from Glendora to Monrovia.  Residents can expect ¾” to 1” rainfall per hour periodically during the second storm, well above debris flow model forecasts.  The City strongly advises affected residents to keep informed and be prepared to evacuate if evacuations are ordered.

“This will be the most significant rain event we have seen since the Madison Fire in April 2013,” said Monrovia Fire Chief Chris Donovan.  “Fortunately we have prepared in the event that we have mud or debris flows.  We are asking that all residents living within the burn area stay vigilant by taking actions now to prepare for this storm.  We will continue to update residents.  Monrovia and LA County Public Works personnel will also be on scene to assist in mitigating potentially damaging mud or debris flows.”

Residents are directed to remove vehicles, trash bins, and any other obstructions from the public streets.  Vehicles left in the rights-of-way may be subject to tow. Gravel and sand bags are available at Fire Station 101, 141 E Lemon Avenue, Monrovia, CA.  Residents may fill gravel bags at 839 Crescent Drive in Monrovia, and at the intersection of Highland Place and Scenic Drive.  Please bring eye protection, gloves, and a shovel to scoop gravel into the bags.  Sand is available at Recreation Park, in the parking lot adjacent to the Skate Park on E. Olive Avenue.

Evacuations are not required at this time, but residents are encouraged to stay updated with Nixle or the City’s website should an evacuation become necessary.  To subscribe to Nixle, text 91016 to 888777 or log on to www.nixle.com to sign up for emergency email and text alerts.

Residents are advised that there will be no trash pickup for neighborhoods impacted by K-Rail on Friday, February 28.  Trash will instead be picked up on Monday, March 3.  Those who need to move cars are asked to park them at the former Albertson’s parking lot on East Huntington Drive.

For residents who do evacuate, discount rates at the Doubletree and Courtyard Hotels for Monrovia residents and their small pets will be offered.  Doubletree has offered $99 room rates to evacuees and will waive the pet fee for pets under 35lbs.  To reserve call: (626)357-1900. Courtyard by Marriott has offered $109 room rates, which includes breakfast, to evacuees (pets allowed on extenuating, case by case basis).  To reserve call: (626)357-5211.  Should mandatory evacuations take place, the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm Avenue, will also serve as a shelter.

The Monrovia Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will be activated at Level 1 beginning 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Residents may call the main City phone line (626) 932-5550 with questions or check the city website at www.cityofmonrovia.org for updates.

Source: City press release

- Brad Haugaard

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