Rain sends debris through Avalon

City crew cleaning up mud and debris in the streets of Avalon on Thursday. Photo by Phillip Ponce

Another storm rolled into southern California and brought a lot of rain on Wednesday night and into Thursday. The results on Catalina Island were mudslides through the streets and even the reservoir overflowing.

The city reported street closures, including Wrigley Road, on Thursday afternoon and that Pebbly Beach Road was open only to emergency vehicles. Reports were that City Public Works crews were getting assistance from crews from Jordahl Construction, Catalina Island Company and the Catalina Island Conservancy in clearing mud and debris.

Avalon Community Church and Catalina Coffee and Cookie Co. delivered coffee and snacks to workers clearing the streets, as the community looked to chip in on the effort.

“First responders and the public are attempting to mitigate mud and debris as it develops,” Mayor Anni Marshall said.

While there was a mass of water, mud and debris rolling down into the harbor, as of Thursday afternoon, most of the structures were avoiding flooding. Public Works crews, as well as the Fire Department were working to keep drains clear of debris, to allow the water to continue to flow out to the harbor. Street closures were mostly for safety, Captain John Hocking of the Sheriff’s Department said, but added that the work of clearing crews were preventing serious damage.

“Public Works and the Fire Department are doing an outstanding job,” Hocking said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hocking confirmed that there had not been any mandatory evacuations and added that crews were monitoring the areas minute by minute to determine what actions needed to be taken. Marshall confirmed that the reservoir had reached 1,100 acre feet and was draining down the spillway toward the back side of the island. “Never thought we would want the rain to stop, however, enough already,” Marshall said.

Thompson Reservoir flows down the spillway as the rain has filled it to capacity. Photo by Kevin Ryan
Thompson Reservoir flows down the canyon from the spillway as the rain has filled it to capacity. Photo by Kevin Ryan