Burn areas brace for wet weather

Mountain areas preparing for coming storm

TWIN PINES, Calif. - Storm clouds began rolling into Riverside County Wednesday afternoon giving people a look at what to expect from the systems moving into our area.  For some, the cloud stirred some bad memories.  "It was just a river running through our backyard," said Betty West, who lives in Twin Pines, in the San Jacinto mountains. "So we're hoping everything will be okay."

The Silver Fire ripped through her backyard sparing only her home six months ago. The worst came a week later, when heavy rains pushed a flood of mud and fire debris through her community. West is just starting to rebuild what she lost. "Well we're concerned that it'll come back down through and go down through again and destroy what we've been doing," said West.

She set up sandbags outside her driveway to stop any potential flooding. She's not alone, either.  Cal Fire's providing sandbags and advice to recent burn areas and that are now threatened by the storms. "Be prepared," said Captain Bret Cerini, from the Cal Fire Poppet Flats station.  "Watch the weather. Pay attention to what's going on outside your window. If it's really raining outside and you don't have to go outside, don't." 

The county's doing its part, digging out drainage ditches on the mountain to keep water moving. Cal Trans is also stepping up, encouraging drivers to stay off the roads and to be mindful that snow levels could drop to 5,000 feet.  All of the storm preparation ironic for a state looking for relief from a drought.  "We definitely need the rain," said Captain Cerini.  "We just want it to come in moderation.  You know, not all in one sitting." 

No matter what these storm clouds bring, West says, she's ready.  In fact, she's come to expect these type of situations as part of where she chose to live. "Blue skies, the birds, no traffic, we just can never go back to the city now, so we take that chance," said West. 

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