Mudslides hit Calif. town near Sequoia forest
LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (AP) -- A mudslide near an area scarred by fire poured into this small town near the southern end of the Sequoia National Forest, shortly after officials urged people to evacuate low-lying areas.
The slide Monday afternoon was nearly 3 feet deep and "has people's belongings in it," Donna Campbell, who works in the town, said early Tuesday.
She said the slide covered one block of Lake Isabella Boulevard but was not as bad as others that happened during the weekend following heavy thunderstorms.
Flash flood watches were issued for Tuesday afternoon and evening in the mountains of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Heavy rain on Monday caused flooding in sparsely populated areas in northern Ventura County in the Los Padres National Forest, said Dave Bruno, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
Kern County authorities had recommended evacuations for about 80 homes in Lake Isabella because of concerns about flash floods and mudslides near a wildfire that has charred 57 square miles of the national forest. It was the third such warning in three days for the town about 90 miles north of Los Angeles.
Monday's flow was made up of a mixture of mud and ash, said Jim Bagnell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
Cleanup crews were still busy on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, where a mudslide damaged dozens of homes and covered a highway during the weekend in the town of Independence, some 200 miles north of Los Angeles.
The Independence mud flow destroyed part of the Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery and its brood stock of rainbow trout, said hatchery manager Robert Wakefield.
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