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Monrovia Issues Local Emergency As Storm Causes Damage To Canyon Park Area

MONROVIA (CBSLA) — Following the massive storm which pummeled the Southland region with heavy rainfall Tuesday, the city of Monrovia issued a local emergency due to mud and debris flow which caused significant damage in and around Monrovia Canyon Park. However, residential neighborhoods in the Bobcat Fire burn scar escaped any serious storm damage.

Residents In Bobcat Fire Burn Scar Brace For Potential Mud Flows; Monrovia Issues Local Emergency
Mudflows close the road leading into Monrovia Canyon Park in Monrovia, Calif., on Dec. 14, 2021. (CBSLA)

The debris flow broke a water main in Canyon Park, and also damaged roads, facilities, parking area and utility systems.

The park, which was closed back on Dec. 9 in anticipation of the storm, will "remain shuttered indefinitely," the city said.

City crews Wednesday morning were conducting cleanup operations and assessing the damage. Heavy equipment was also being brought in.

Going into Tuesday's storm, the Bobcat Fire burn scar in the San Gabriel foothills of Monrovia was an area of concern. The Bobcat Fire -- which started in September of 2020 and took two months to fully contain -- burned nearly 116,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest and destroyed 87 homes in the Antelope Valley foothills.

The neighborhoods of Ridgeside and Oakglade Drive did not experience any significant mudslides, the city of Monrovia said. A voluntary evacuation warning for both neighborhoods was lifted late Wednesday morning, officials told CBSLA.

Stephen Kallin, who lives in the foothills below the burn scar, told CBSLA that he got on his roof to defend his house from the flames of the Bobcat Fire.

Kallin's property is now surrounded by K-rails and wooden boards, a hard line of defense against any potential debris flows.

"We never felt like we were in danger. We never felt like we were going to need to evacuate," said Kallin, who also showed CBSLA drone footage he took of the catch basin not far from his home.

Officials Tuesday said things have held up well so far.

"(L.A.) County Public Works and Flood Control had been out there previously, over the last several months, clearing the debris and making sure there's been capacity in those basins," said Alex Tachiki, with the Monrovia Public Works Department.

As of Tuesday night, the road to Canyon Park was covered in mud, debris and rocks.

"We did get some mud and debris in the park," Tachiki said. "So, we're still going to assess our facilities. No definitive word on how that facility is at this point."

Kallin said firefighters has been patrolling the neighborhood, but he decided to fly his drone over the catch basin for research and reassurance.

"I'm very curious by nature, and I wanted to show myself, show my wife and some other people that I sent the images to that, 'Hey, you know, we're all good and everything is fine up here,'" Kallin said.

The K-rails and wooden barriers in the Bobcat Fire burn scar area are expected to stay in place for at least three years.


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