Downed tree limbs and palm fronds, shingles blown off of roofs and debris littering the street are common sights after a storm in Southern California.
An upside-down piano? Not so much.
Although many California residents were reeling from the biblical rains falling Sunday and Monday, the effects in Los Angeles County may have been most acute in the slide-prone canyons. One example was the baby grand piano splayed out on its back on Caribou Lane off Beverly Glen Boulevard.
The piano’s former home was pushed off its foundation around 2 a.m. Monday, according to neighbor Travis Longcore.
“It was a big rumbling sound and then a boom,” he said while standing a few doors down from the debris slide.
Longcore lives about two doors away from the house that slid down the hillside and spilled into the narrow lane. Insulation, wiring, mud, boulders and downed power lines made up the mixture of debris, along with what’s left of a brown baby grand piano.
The home that slid down the street was unoccupied, neighbors said.
It was a long night and morning in the canyons in western L.A. County, where record-setting rain caused mudslides, property damage and flooding.
Woodland Hills, Bel-Air and Topanga Canyon were among the areas that saw more than 8 inches of rain. The atmospheric river-fueled storm already smashed several daily rainfall records on Sunday. Downtown Los Angeles received 4.1 inches of rain — breaking the record of 2.55 inches set on Feb. 4, 1927.
The winding residential streets just southwest of the Encino Reservoir were nearly deserted Monday morning after half a day of record-setting rain.
Tree branches and mud blocked a portion of Boris Drive, leaving a narrow path for the few cars that drove past.
Water rushed down the sides of the streets, picking up small rocks and sticks as it went. Mud had descended a hill off Boris Drive during the night, leaving a gaping hole in the landscape.
Nathan Khalili, 23, rents the property atop the hill. He said he expects his property manager to assess the damage later today.
“I’m usually not worried about storms, but I didn’t think a … landslide would happen,” he said. “I woke up, looked outside, and half the mud had slid down the hill.”
Khalili said he didn’t take many steps to prepare for the storm.
“It’s out of our control,” he said.
He lost power between midnight and 9 a.m. Monday. Unable to charge its battery, his phone died overnight and did not play his usual morning alarm. “I’m supposed to be at work right now but I accidentally slept in,” he said.
Khalili‘s next-door neighbor Rob Resnick, 34, was also dealing with damage from the storm.
“Usually when it rains we get two to three leaks,” he said. “Right now, we have at least 10.”
Resnick said he put a tarp on his roof Sunday morning and weighed it down with rocks in an attempt to keep water out.
He also made sure his flashlights had fresh batteries, which proved necessary when he lost power early Monday morning. “We’ve lived through worse,” Resnick said.
On Monday morning, Shanice Aaron, 29, drove through the intersection of Beverly Glen Boulevard and Mulholland Drive and saw there was a mudslide.
Large tree branches had also fallen down onto the street on Beverly Glen, turning it into a one-lane road in some sections.
“I know a lot of people lost power,” said Aaron, who has lived in Beverly Glen for more than 15 years.
Aaron spent the brunt of the storm Sunday night holed up in her home and watching the Grammy Awards. Her power didn’t go out, but she knows that some of her neighbors weren’t so lucky.
She made it out of the house Monday morning, deciding to sit outside a nearby Starbucks with her two dogs to watch the rain.
“I’m originally from Japan, and it rains a lot in Asia, so I’m used to it. But I know people from L.A. aren’t,” she said. “But honestly, you just have to drive carefully.”