Ain't that the truth! I was smart: I sandbagged as soon as it started, and am doing just fine. A section of one of the bridges on the Santa Ana Wash nearby collapsed this morning. The 'authorities' didn't even realize it was failing until a Sheriff's deputy drove across it and knew it didn't feel right; then he saw chunks of concrete falling off it. 15 minutes later it collapsed.
Several hillsides around town have failed. We have some very steep hillsides (canyonsides, actually) and the people who build houses next to them like to take out the native grasses and then plant stuff that doesn't hold the dirt in place as well. Now their little trees are at the bottom and their irrigation pipes are hanging in air. The hillsides erode naturally to an extent in heavy rains, so with decreased stability, well...
Also, almost no one around here prepares. They forget there is this thing called the elements (except sunshine). I'm a SoCal boy, but I lived in rural Northern California where rains like these aren't uncommon. This has been like what we often got up there. Steady rain for days, then a dumper. Where I lived an inch an hour wasn't all that uncommon, but here it's a big, big deal. A quarter inch an hour for more than about 15 minutes is a big deal. Some places have gotten just about their average yearly total in the past 5 days.
This has been an unusual year. A rather cool summer, some record-breaking heat in fall, almost no Santa Ana winds or brushfires, a couple of good early rains, now this. I wonder what's next. Hmmm, maybe I should ask Chris...