El Niño Wet Weather Preparedness: WE’RE READY… ARE YOU?

El Niño Wet Weather Preparedness: WE’RE READY… ARE YOU?

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Each year, LA Sanitation (LASAN) prepares itself and Los Angeles residents and businesses for the rainy season. This year, we are anticipating El Niño, which will likely cause higher-intensity storms and potential flooding.

What can residents and businesses do to prepare?

  • Check your catch basins to make sure theyare clear of debris. Call us at 311 or 1-800-773-2489 for assistance with debris removal.
  • Ensure your building drainage is clear of debris, including rain gutters.
  • Secure any loose palm fronds, tarps, loose items that may be carried away by rain or be blown away.
  • Cover steep slopes on your property that are not vegetated, which may become unstable when saturated by rain.
  • Use sand bags to protect properties in low lying areas. Contact your neighborhood fire station for sandbags.
  • Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.
  • If you have sprinklers, turn them off before, during and after rain.
  • Install rain barrels to capture rain. LADWP provides rebates for up to 4 rain barrels per property.
  • Please reduce water consumption during rain to reduce flows in our sewers.
  • Create an emergency kit including the following items:
    • Food and water to last three days to a week. (extra for pets)
    • First aid kit & medications (over-the-counter and prescription)
    • Radio (with extra batteries)
    • Cash and important documents
    • Blankets, clothing and sturdy shoes
    • Tools (wrench, duct tape, fire extinguisher, sturdy gloves, whistle)
    • Sanitation and hygiene supplies

Fast facts

  • Rainy season is officially here but the heaviest rains are expected December to February.
  • This year’s El Niño event is not a drought-buster so please continue to conserve water, even when it’s raining. #savethedropla
  • There are 6,700 miles of sewer pipes in LA, and LASAN conducts proactive maintenance year-round to prevent clogs, flooding, and pests. There are 67 pumping stations to move sewage through the pipes to the plants.
  • The City of Los Angeles has 4 water reclamation plants. The largest can treat up to 600 million gallons per day – that’s enough to fill 909 Olympic sized swimming pools!
  • Streets are designed for water to flow to the edges of the streets in heavy rains – this could flood sidewalks so stay aware and watch where you walk.
  • Catch basin screens will automatically open when it rains – during dry periods the screens are there to catch trash and other debris.

LA Sanitation’s preparations to minimize flooding

  • We’ve cleaned all our 40,000 catch basins to remove debris that could clog them; we will clean them again during the season.
  • We’ve cleaned all of our 70 debris basins – many of these will get 2 more cleanings during the wet season to remove debris and keep stormwater flowing.
  • We have cleared drainage channels to allow stormwater to flow properly.
  • We are in close communication with City departments and LA County to coordinate preparation & response efforts, and to push out collaborative messages as needed.
  • We will dispatch emergency crews throughout the City during severe to respond to any flooding.
  • LASAN Customer Care Center will open 24/7 to receive customer requests. *During heavy rains, please limit calls to critical and rain-related issues.

Register with Notify LA to be contacted in the event of an emergency or service delay in your neighborhood. www.notifyla.org

What residents should do during the rain?

  • Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions, flooding in your area and safety precautions being advised.
  • Be aware of notifications of suspended trash service in your area. Don’t leave trash containers out during those conditions as they may tip over and clog storm drains & catch basins.
  • Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered.
  • Stay away from flood channels & flowing rivers. You could be knocked off your feet in as little as 6 inches of water.
  • Don’t try to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water. Turn around – don’t drown.
  • If your home has been flooded, protect your family’s health by cleaning up right away. Throw away food and medications that may have been contaminated.
  • Stay away from steep slopes that may become unstable when saturated by rain.
  • Never touch a downed power line, which can cause serious injury or death. Call 9-1-1 to report it.
  • Look out for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides.
  • If trapped in your vehicle, stay with it. If possible, relocate to the hood if water continues to rise.
  • Be alert when driving. Roads may become blocked or closed due to hazards.
  • Report small problems as soon as they occur, before they turn into bigger problems.
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