Search and rescue crews prepare for flooding, strong winds from latest storm

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Search and rescuers along with strike teams are fanning out, headed towards vulnerable foothill communities as a major rainmaker approaches.

Highway 190, where the Pier Fire torched more than 36,000 acres, is the number one concern.

"That is the main thoroughfare. Over the last 48 hours we've experienced two rockslides, minor, we've been able to clear them in an hour to a couple of hours," said Captain Joanne Bear with the Tulare County Fire Department.

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Forecasts predict up to four inches of rain in the mountains.

There's a strong possibility for flash flooding, and the winds could be just as dangerous.

"If you see downed trees, downed power lines, please call 911, let someone know," Captain Bear said.

In Sanger, workers hastily placed a tarp over the middle school.

Tuesday's storm tore off the roof and took out two massive trees, forcing classes to be relocated.

"It made a mess, it must have been like a little tornado cuz it was just one area, that's it, no place else," said Ed Caudros with Bellagio Construction and Landscaping.

Even the Valley Air District put out an alert Wednesday night about the wind.

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Warning about the particles of dust 60 miles per hour winds from the Grapevine can pick up from dry soil.

"It's literally creating a soup of air pollution trapped here in the Valley," Ana Stone said.

The Valley Air District recommends that families try to stay indoors for the next 24 hours until the winds settle down. They say the particles are especially dangerous for children and those with asthma.
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