A house is covered by mud and debris after a mudslide in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Hector Mata)
Henry Laguna walks around his property after a mudslide caused by heavy rains damaged his house in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.
Unable to stand upright due to large amounts soil covering the floor, Brian Laguna recovers personal belongings after a mudslide caused by heavy rains damaged his house in La Canada Flintridge, Calif. on Monday,
Phil Markgraf pulls Christmas lights out of the mud that engulfed his mother-in-law's house following a weekend mudslide that hit burn areas in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. – Authorities have called on residents of more than 500 homes in the wildfire-scarred Southern California foothills to evacuate by Tuesday morning, fearing that heavy rains from a new round of storms could cause more mudslides.
Weather forecasters issued a flash flood watch for Tuesday afternoon through late Tuesday night for neighborhoods below steep slopes that were scorched by the fires last summer.
Officials issued evacuation orders for 541 homes on the hillsides of La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Acton, telling residents to be out by 10 a.m. Sheriff's deputies also asked residents to move their vehicles and trash cans away from the streets, where water and rocks roared through, smashing cars and concrete barriers together on Saturday morning.
For the latest storm, weather forecasters predicted thunderstorms, snow in mountain passes and about an inch and a half of rain for the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, where debris basins overflowed and damaged 43 homes over the weekend. The basins are designed to keep mud and boulders away from homes near the burn areas.
About 300 trucks are being used to clear the debris channels.
"It takes weeks to clean the debris basins out entirely. We've been working around the clock since Saturday, load after load after load," said Department of Public Works spokesman Bob Spencer. "Hopefully this storm will be kinder to us."
The showers could put more pressure on the basins. Engineers have prioritized six of the 28 basins in the burn area, based on their size, current capacity and proximity to at-risk neighborhoods, Spencer said.