This story actually appeared on Inside the weather news And is part of Meteorological Desk Sharing.

Picture the minute hand around 8 o’clock on the hour. This is the backyard slope of Viet in southern Los Angeles County. It’s a bit too aggressive for slip and slide. In fact, Viet doesn’t even let his 7-year-old daughter play on the family’s tiny back patio.

“I don’t need him to fall down that hill,” she said.

When Waite and his wife bought their hillside home five years ago, it was a win-win, their slice of the “Hollywood Riviera,” as real estate agents like to call the area. (Viet, an auto marketer in his forties, asked that his last name not be used to protect his family’s privacy.)

Viet Street runs horizontally across a huge incline that starts at the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a wonderland of steep cliffs and Mediterranean-style houses on the southern hook of Santa Monica Bay. If you squint, it could be the terraced hills of Tuscany or indeed a part of the Côte d’Azur. The address was a solid investment and housing insurance was not a problem, although some parts of the peninsula have known. Change of shape, cracking roads and knocking houses off their foundations. But not every day. The family enjoyed some easy SoCal years on their perch with its spectacular views and mild, dry climate.

“Whenever it rained, we were happy: ‘We’re not in a severe drought anymore, yes!'” Viet said. “But after that, every time it rains, I get scared.”

“It” was the atmospheric river storm that hit LA with a couple of punches (the first, a jab, the second, a wallop) in the first week of February. A parade of such storms has extended California’s winter rainy season this year. Once again this week, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and L.A. counties are in the midst of high speeds, cracked roads, flash flooding, and climatologically heavy rains due to warm Pacific temperatures. The storms are causing unusually high-profile damage, putting everyone on edge, especially in Vietnam.

After the initial rain burst on Feb. 1, he noticed that the top of his backyard slope, a hand-tall succulent called the “ice plant,” was looking strange. A lump of mud was seen shrugging off its ground cover. He asked a gardener to try to fix it. It was Friday. Then monster rain cells moved in on Sunday, February 3rd.

“All night long, I could hear banging on the roof, the wind blowing sideways,” he said. “It was annoying, so when I woke up at 7:30, the first thing I tried to do was check the rain gutters and make sure everything was going well.”

Viet walked around his house in boots because he never had a reason to buy rain boots.

“I was walking around the backyard, looked down, and I was like, ‘Ohhhh my goo.’

A 40-foot-wide river of mud, rock, and roots flowed all the way down his hill, already jamming the city road 70 feet below where Wyatt stood, somehow safe.