Mandatory Evacuations in Camarillo Springs Lifted After Mudslide Threat

Heavy rains are expected to bring mud and debris flows close to homes in a neighborhood where a debris flow last month trapped residents in homes

Evacuation orders for homes in a mudslide-prone neighborhood were lifted Tuesday after a morning of heavy rainfall raised concerns about potentially damaging slides in a Ventura County community.

Evacuations had been ordered on San Como Lane and North San Como Lane near Lada Avenue, according to Capt. Scott Dettore of the Ventura County Fire Department.

But with more rain expected, most residents opted to remain away even after the order was lifted.

Public works crews arrived with front-end loaders to remove mud and debris that flowed down from a rain-saturated hillside near the homes.

Mandatory evacuations went into effect after 10 a.m. Shelter is available at Calvary Church of Camarillo on Mobil Avenue. They were lifted by 6 p.m.

"This could turn into a bigger incident for us," Rick Macklin of the Ventura County Fire Department said Tuesday morning.

"We've got a spillway, and we have a storm drain at the bottom of it," Macklin said. "The spillway is loading up with mud and rocks."

While firefighters worked to clear the area, later in the day Macklin said the situation could have been far more serious.

The neighborhood is the same in which a debris flow last month trapped residents in homes and led to a search for a missing dog. The dog was found the next day.

"Potential was for what happened back on Halloween. The building behind us has 4 feet of standing mud on the exterior wall, and that's what we were kind of expecting today," Macklin said.

Homeowner Phil Eads opted against leaving, and was relieved things had worked out well on the day.

"We were able to manage the flow up above, had no debris no mud flows into the yard. So we in that regard had a good day."

However he believes it is essenial hillside structural repairs need to be carried out as soon as possible to prevent further problems in the future.

"Between the homeowners group here, city of Camarillo, federal government, (we) need to come together and somehow come to a solution here."

With many homeowners staying away, the Ventura County Sheriff had made plans to ease fears of crime in their absence.

"Couple of patrol cars committed specifically to this area for the entire night because... we really want to make sure (put at ease) those that aren't staying here.," Capt. Don Aguilar said.

A Pacific storm moved into the region early Tuesday. Rain is expected to continue through the rest of the day and into Wednesday.

Rain totals are forecast to exceed those of Sunday's storm, which dropped just over an inch of rain in Whittier, Agoura Hills and other communities and caused a landslide that blocked a nine-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Projected rainfall amounts include nearly 2 inches in Temecula and more than an inch in San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Malibu and downtown Los Angeles.

Rainfall records for Dec. 2 include 1.10 inches in downtown Los Angeles (1961), 0.79 inches in Long Beach (1961), 1.32 inches in Woodland Hills (1961) and 0.45 inches in Lancaster (1961).

Michael Larkin and Beverly White also contributed to this report

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