LA Mayor Bass declares a state of emergency over storms
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declared a local state of emergency on Friday after storms battered the city earlier this week, causing mudslides, flooding and road closures.
The city expects another storm to roll in by Saturday, not only raising the possibility of more damage from the rain but also hampering officials’ ability to repair the damage already done.
City workers have already responded to thousands of storm-related inquiries over the past few weeks, most of them as the storms continued to drench the city, according to the city’s Department of Public Works.
The Bureau of Street Services has received 557 calls about tree-related emergencies, as well as 610 calls about landslides and mudslides and 1,542 about potholes.
Meanwhile, LA Sanitation & Environment has reported 385 requests to clean up flooding caused by clogged storm drains and catch basins. About 38% of that work has been completed, officials said in a statement.
The office also supported the California Department of Transportation’s response to a massive sinkhole, 50 feet wide and 30 feet deep, that surfaced in Chatsworth.
Bass’ emergency declaration directs city governments to continue evaluating storm damage estimates and seeking state and federal assistance. It’s also asking the governor’s office to waive regulations that would slow recovery efforts.
California has been battered by a string of storms for weeks, with eight river-driven atmospheric events since Christmas.
Although Friday was dry and cloudy in Los Angeles, rain is expected on Saturday, with “moderate to brief heavy rain” and the possibility of minor flooding in streams and urban areas. About one-and-a-half to 3 inches of rainfall is possible on the coast and valleys, the National Weather Service said.
With the slopes already soaked from past storms, rock slides and mudslides are expected to pose an ongoing threat.
Another storm is expected through Sunday afternoon, with isolated thunderstorms possible through Monday.
This is the third local state of emergency the city is in; others are COVID-19 and homelessness.