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City officials put storm response plans into motion as rain douses Los Angeles

Potential thunderstorms, flooding at top of mind as new storm hits SoCal
Potential thunderstorms, flooding at top of mind as new storm hits SoCal 03:53

The city of Los Angeles preemptively activated their storm response as the second storm of the month sweeps through the area, bringing heavy rain and strong winds along with it. 

The Emergency Operations Center was activated to a "Level 2" in order to monitor the impacts of the storm and to coordinate necessary resources in response to any weather-related incidents. 

"Emergency crews remain ready to respond to the effects of the storm and potential of mud and debris flows, power outages and roadway obstructions," said a statement from the City of Los Angeles. 

Related: List of Los Angeles parks closed due to rain

Crews have been busy repairing and cleaning up after the last powerful storm that hit just weeks ago, leaving more than 4,000 potholes and hundreds of landslides in its wake. 

Work is also underway in order to prevent more mudslides and prevent power outages, with crews repairing underground equipment and vaults that were flooded during the previous storm. 

"The National Weather Service reports that the heaviest period of rainfall will occur Monday night through Tuesday night," the statement said.

Impact updates will be posted on the City's Emergency Management Department website. Road closures or impacts to transportation will be posted via an interactive map found here.

Local departments bolster response teams

Los Angeles Fire Department crews have added additional personnel for any necessary swift water rescue incidents that may arise, and community emergency response, urban search and rescue, tractor companies, helicopter pilots, command staff and 911 dispatchers have also been called on for the looming storm. 

Mayor Karen Bass directed all Los Angeles City Departments to "actively respond to the effects of this storm," and as a result the Department of Building and Safety will have staff on standby to assist in assessments of damages caused by the storm, working closely with the Emergency Management Department. Engineers have been busy assessing previous spots of debris flows, warning residents to protect their land against future incidents. 

Places like Beverly Crest, Rancho Palos Verdes and Studio City were hit hard during the last storm, with multiple houses getting red-tagged by city officials. 

A recent assessment conducted in the Beverly Crest area revealed that the number of homes that were unsafe to occupy was actually seven, more than double the original amount that LAFD initially reported in early February. 

Related: Mudflows damage homes throughout LA County

Traffic officers with the Department of Transportation have been deployed to the locations of road closures in order to direct drivers away from impacted areas. Drivers have been advised to avoid canyon roads if possible due to the threat of sudden and intermittent closures that may occur. 

Los Angeles Police Department is ensuring that calls for service are handled and that support is provided for evacuations that may be issued. Additionally, each patrol division will provide checks of critical infrastructure for fires, flooding and wind damage. 

Animal Control Officers with Los Angeles Animal Services are also ready to respond to any necessary evacuation or rescue efforts, working with LAFD and Urban Search and Rescue/Swift Water teams. 

The Bureau of Street Services, otherwise known as StreetsLA, has people on call around the clock with heavy duty trucks available to assist in the event of a blocked street or downed tree.

Winter Shelter program activated to help homeless

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, as well as other county agencies, have mobilized their shelter and transportation resources, activating the Augmented Winter Shelter Program, which provide additional shelter options for people living on the streets. 

Outreach workers began communicating potential issues before the storm reached the region, offering resources to those living in the most vulnerable areas, especially in places prone to extreme flooding like the LA River and Sepulveda Basin. 

"The Mayor's Office of Housing and Homelessness Solutions has worked to make more hotel vouchers available than previously planned to encourage unhoused Angelenos to come indoors ahead of the storm," the statement said. 

Storm impacts

As of Monday evening, the city says that they had received:

  • 27 reports of fallen trees and branches,
  • more than 7,000 residents impacted by significant power outages throughout the day. As of 6 p.m., the largest power outages were impacting the Brentwood, Granada Hills, Manchester Square and University Park communities. 

Road closures

A series of floods, debris flows and heavy rain have led to a numbers of road closures throughout LA County, including:

  • I-5 Freeway southbound transition to the 110 South,
  • 2nd Street between Vignes Street and Garey Street,
  • Mulholland Drive between Skyline Drive and Bowmont Drive,
  • Last week, Caltrans issued an indefinite closure of the Skirball Center Drive/Mulholland Drive offramp for the 405 Freeway due to a large sinkhole that formed after the last storm,
  • Additionally, a "soft closure" exists for Benedict Canyon Drive between Mulholland Drive and Hutton Drive, with limited access allowed for local residents. 
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