Duarte residents prepare for flooding and mudslides ahead of storm

- Firefighters were going door to door on Thursday tagging homes situated against the foothills in Duarte.

A colored ribbon means people living there should get out before the storm hits. Steven Papgelis said firefighters paid him a visit.

“The two fireman said they advise us to be evacuated from our house,” Papagelis said. “He said if you do stay we can’t help you out.”

Firefighters said they’ve strongly advised people in 10 homes to evacuate, but if you live near a burn area you should also be ready to go at a moments notice.

“We’re not trying to alarm anybody, but we just need to reiterate if you are trying to pack up your stuff after the debris starts flowing it’s too late,” Capt. Nick Haiduc, Los Angeles County Fire Department, said.

The concern is the bare hillsides that were torched in June’s Fish Fire, which was part of the San Gabriel Complex Fire and burned 5,400 acres.

A heavy rain in a short amount of time could turn all the lose dirt into mud, which would start sliding down the hills into homes.

A few weeks ago, crews fortified the neighborhood near Brookridge and Melcanyon Road with k-rails and sandbags. 

“I think any real concern I might have is that these homes are going to be protected, but it’s going to spill right down into our property,” Jennifer Romaine, Duarte resident, said.

Firefighters said they haven’t seen many people being proactive about protecting their homes.

“Once it starts raining it’s a little late to try and get the sandbags they need to be coming to the stations now,” Haiduc said.

Doug Fox said he called the fire department for help and crews delivered a large helping of sandbags at the bottom of his driveway.

“On our back side we’re supposed to put up sandbags and some of the other things just to direct the water,” Fox said.

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