February 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu

Road Closures, Continued Rain, Potential Flooding, and Mudslides

The National Weather Service (NWS) has reported three-day rainfall totals in the most affected areas of the Santa Monica Mountains. The highest rain totals were in the Santa Monica Mountain areas, with Bel Air receiving 11:64 inches and Sepulveda Canyon at Mulholland receiving 11.46 inches. As a response to the hazardous conditions, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has issued a stern warning through social media, urging residents to stay home whenever possible. The message specifically advises avoiding all canyon roads due to widespread hazards, emphasizing the high likelihood of road closures and potential involvement in emergency responses managed by the LAFD.

https://x.com/KNXBaird/status/1754580839420375232?s=20

There are reports of mudslide activity in Beverly Crest and Beverly Glen. Malibu Canyon Road between Mulholland and Malibu Crest, Piuma Road between Las Virgenes and Cold Creek, and Topanga Canyon between Robinson Road and Highvale Trail are closed, according to Supervisor Horvath. Mulholland Hwy is closed in both directions at Canyon Drive in the City of Calabasas, according to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Department. The closure on Mulholland is expected to last throughout the night. 

https://x.com/ReedTimmerAccu/status/1754566476106018851?s=20

Some of the issues that caused the road closures were multiple vehicles submerged on Piuma Road, a minor mudslide off Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, a vehicle submerged on Balkins Drive – Agoura Hills, and a 10-foot boulder on N/B Malibu Canyon Road, 2 miles north of PCH.

While LAUSD schools were open today, Malibu SMMUSD schools were closed. As of 6:00 p.m., SMMUSD announced that Malibu schools will reopen on February 6. 

During today’s press conference, LAFD Chief Kristin M. Crowley said that the LAFD has responded to 130 flooding incidents, 49 mud and debris flows, extinguished half a dozen structure fires, the LAPD has responded to 65 traffic collisions with injuries and affected several water rescues for stranded motorists. 

Sandbags are available at local fire stations, with a limit of 10 per citizen. Check availability near you at https://pw.lacounty.gov/dsg/sandbags/

The latest NWS report at 3:00 p.m. underscores the gravity of the situation, noting, “A continuous stream of moderate/heavy rain will be moving into LA county, resulting in the extension of the Flood Advisory until 9 pm this evening. Expect widespread flooding of roadways and small streams, as well as additional debris flows and rock/mudslide activity.”

In response to the atmospheric river wreaking havoc in the region, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has officially declared a local emergency. The declaration, signed today, aims to bolster the city’s response efforts and ensure the availability of necessary resources not only for immediate actions but also for the recovery period.

Mayor Bass emphasized, “I have signed a declaration of local emergency, which will help our response and ensure the city has the resources to respond now, but also in the recovery period.”

The declaration underscores the extreme conditions unleashed by the weather system, including power outages, fallen trees, slope failures, mud and debris flows, and widespread flooding. The aftermath is anticipated to result in multiple road closures requiring extensive repair efforts.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Sunday for multiple counties, including Los Angeles. The proclamation aims to provide essential support for ongoing storm recovery efforts as the region grapples with intense winds and heavy rainfall. The emergency declaration encompasses Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo counties.

This significant move comes as the storm poses serious threats to the affected areas, prompting the need for swift and coordinated action to address the immediate and long-term consequences of the weather event.

To read the full State Proclamation, you can visit the official state website.

Simultaneously, on the same day, Lindsay Horvath, Chair of the LA County Board of Supervisors, issued a local emergency proclamation, citing the same storm-related concerns. This local declaration reinforces the urgency of response efforts at the county level, aligning with the state’s overarching strategy to ensure comprehensive support for affected communities.

To read the County Proclamation, interested individuals can access the official county website.

Furthermore, the statement warns of the potential for additional significant storm activity in the coming days, exacerbating the city’s challenges in mitigating the continuous impacts of atmospheric river storm systems. You can check out an interactive map of road closures, evacuation orders, and emergency centers here.

in NEWS
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