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Rain trickles down quietly

June 06, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

BURBANK — Scattered rain showers blanketed Burbank and Glendale on Friday, but the storm proved to be less powerful than Wednesday’s lightning and rainfall that killed two people in Southern California.

Continued rainfall and thunderstorms were expected to last through today before tapering off, said Stuart Seto, a specialist for the National Weather Service. “When thunder roars, go indoors,” he advised residents.

Friday’s rainfall was unlike Wednesday’s storm, which was blamed for the death of a woman in Fontana and another in Big Bear Lake, because it didn’t have as much lightning, Seto said.


“This is more like an April shower or springtime event,” he said.

As a result of Friday’s sudden storm, the Glendale Fire Department postponed its Junior Fire Picnic, which was scheduled for midday at Verdugo Park. The annual event, which awards honorary fire official titles to elementary students with the best-written essays, was rescheduled for Thursday. Outdoor activities that typically occur outside at Glendale’s Adult Recreation Center on Colorado Street were moved indoors, facilities attendant William Stevenson said.

A group of 30 to 40 seniors, who generally play cards on outside tables, moved their games inside to the center’s cafe, he said.

As of Friday evening, no major weather-related accidents had been reported in Burbank or Glendale, officials said. Sudden rainstorms, like those on Friday, can sometimes lead to slippery conditions on the road because of the combination of accumulated fuel residue and water on the street’s surface, Burbank Fire Capt. Ron Bell said.

Rain can also loosen small rocks from hillsides, especially along trails in Glendale and Burbank, he said. During rainfall, hazardous chemicals such as pesticides can be carried off from highways, streets and mountains into the Los Angeles River, Bell said.

Still, the rain was welcomed.

“Overall, it’s good,” Bell said. “We need the rain.”

Late rainstorms typically mean a growth spurt for hillside vegetation, which in turn can mean more fuel for potential wild land fires when it dies off in the summer, but Bell said he was not worried.

Burbank required its residents to clear overgrown vegetation from their homes by Monday, he said, and fire officials have been checking homes.

While Friday’s rainfall was needed, it barely made a dent in the state’s three-year drought, Seto said.

Larger rainstorms as a result of warming in the eastern Pacific are expected during the fall or winter, which he said could yield an increase in water rations.

“If it gets as strong as I think, then it could bring a long downpour of rain,” Seto said.

 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts in Glendale. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at

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