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POST-FLOOD CLEANUP STARTS CREWS FIXING ROADS, POWER LINES.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

LANCASTER - Los Angeles County and utility crews began work Thursday in clearing out mud and debris and repairing roads and power lines after Wednesday's flash flood in the eastern Antelope Valley.

No injuries were reported but the effects of erosion, mud and debris caused considerable damage to roads in the region, county officials said. The damage forced the closure of about half a dozen roads in the sparsely populated Hi Vista area.

``Crews are currently in the process of clearing these roads for temporary access to the residents,'' said Marina Janofsky, spokeswoman for the county Department of Public Works.

Much of the damage occurred along Avenue G, which was closed between 140th and 190th Streets East. Power poles in the area were down and portions of the pavement and the road's shoulder were undermined and collapsing.

Mud and debris forced road closures on 140th Street East, between Avenues E and H, and on Avenue H between 120th and 140th Streets East.

Other streets closed to traffic included 165th Street East between Avenue G and Avenue E-8, Avenue E-8 between 165th St East and 200th St East, Avenue C between 200th St East and the San Bernardino County line, and 200th St East between Avenue G and Avenue C.

``The estimate is that it will take approximately one week to get the roads in a safe condition,'' Janofsky said. ``It will take an additional two weeks to restore the shoulders. After that, restoring asphalt and pavement will commence.''

Work crews started filling in washed-out shoulders and the drainage culverts were being unplugged, Janofsky said.

There have not been any complaints from residents about private property damage. The reports that have been received are about mailboxes being washed away and erosion damaging people's yards.

Residents reported a chicken coop being swept away, mud deposits on several private driveways, mailboxes and portions of yards washed away and, in some cases, erosion undercutting private driveways.

At nearby Edwards Air Force Base, a power outage cut off electricity for about two hours. On Thursday, the base closed 140th Street East between Avenues B and E.

Base personnel were advised to expect delays in the morning and evening commutes because of the closed road.

The flash flood knocked out power to some 24,400 Southern California Edison customers. Crews working through the night had power restored to all customers by 6 a.m. Thursday morning, said Edison spokesman Ernie Villegas.

The storm resulted in one pole catching fire, others being undercut and knocked down, and in damage to a number of transformers.

The flooding was triggered by thunderstorms created by hot afternoon temperatures mixing with moist, subtropical air. Those weather conditions persisted Thursday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning.

With the threat of more possible flooding, the county Fire Department kept a swift water rescue team and heavy equipment on standby, said Norm Hickling, field representative for county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743

james.skeen(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color -- ran in AV edition only) A firefighter approaches Lancaster residents at 140th St. East and Avenue G after a flash flood in the region Wednesday.

(2 -- 3; 2 -- color -- ran in AV edition only; 3 -- color in AV edition only -- ran in AV and SAC editions only) Above, Lancaster resident Charlie Romero clears mud from the garage door at his home near 175th Street East and Avenue G. At left, a downed sign at 165th Street East and Avenue G attests to the power of the flash flood in the area Wednesday.

Paul Weatherman/Special to the Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 22, 2003
Words:611
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