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LA Mayor Karen Bass urges preparation ahead of heavy rain

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CBS News Los Angeles Live

Ahead of a strong storm front that is expected to hit Los Angeles on Sunday, Mayor Karen Bass Friday announced several measures being taken to weather the storm, and encouraged residents to stay vigilant and safe.

"The city has been working urgently in anticipation of the storm that's expected to hit us Sunday, Monday and possibly Tuesday," Bass said during an afternoon news conference. "We know that weather predictions can change quickly, but right now there are indications that the coming storm could be as strong as Tropical Storm Hilary was in August."

She reassured city residents that the city will once again be prepared for what may come. Bass emphasized the importance of coming together and taking common sense precautions such as staying home and staying off the road starting Sunday.

According to the NWS, the multiple-day storm could drop 3 to 6 inches of rain in coastal and valley areas, and 6 to 12 inches in the mountains, with much of that downpour occurring in a 24- to 36-hour period between Sunday into Monday.

Carol Parks, general manager of the Emergency Management Department, L.A. City Fire Chief Kristin Crowley stood beside Bass, who noted the "all- hands-on-deck" efforts underway to prepare the city.

Bass addressed some concerns regarding the city's homeless population. The city and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority have increased shelter and housing voucher availability to accommodate an influx of people coming in from the storm.

"If you have family members or friends that you know that are unhoused, and you can contact them, please tell them to go to their nearest shelter," Bass said.

Extra shelters are expected to open by Saturday and Sunday. Residents can also call 2-1-1 for transportation to a shelter.

"The city and the people of Los Angeles know how to weather the storm," Bass said. "I know people will do their part to make sure we do. As I mentioned at the top, the weather can change quickly, so please stay tuned for updates."

Crowley expressed the Fire Department's commitment to ensuring safety, with the help of the Los Angeles Police Department. The fire chief pointed behind her at one point, showcasing swift water rescue boats that could be used for an emergency. She also explained that the fire department has increased its number of pilots and is prepared to deploy helicopters or other air-rescue tools to save lives.

She noted the city has taken a proactive approach to ensure the safety of unhoused individuals -- going into areas around the L.A. River and prioritizing the safety of the city's most vulnerable individuals. Crowley said their efforts are intended to minimize the need for firefighters to be deployed for swift water rescues.

Additionally, the city's Community Emergency Response Teams will be on standby to assist with non-life-threatening emergencies, and should result in more firefighters and paramedics available to respond to life-safety issues.

"Now to the residents of our great city. We urge you to take this storm seriously and prepare accordingly," Crowley said. "Please ensure that your emergency kits are updated, avoid any unnecessary travel, and stay informed through official channels for updates."

Ready-to-fill sandbags are also available in 106 local fire stations around the city.

The fire chief emphasized to residents the importance of avoiding storm drains and flooded areas, which can be very deceptive.

"Drowning is the leading cause of deaths related to floods. Never drive through flooded areas where the pavement is not visible," she added. "If you are stranded in your car, stay in your vehicle, and move to the ... roof if the water rises.

"Finally, stay away from power lines, and report downed lines to our partner, Department of Water and Power, at 1-800-DIAL-DWP."

LADWP encouraged customers to be prepared in case of power outages. Residents can report outages online and track crew status at The department again emphasized that people should never touch a downed power line and immediately call 9-1-1.

Angelenos can prepare by registering for notifications and local alerts through the NotifyLA system, or at Any announcements involving road closures or transportation impacts will be made by the Department of Transportation, which can be viewed at

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Angelenos can request service for impacts such as roadway flooding, tree limbs blocking roads or mudslides through the city's MyLA311 app, visiting or calling 3-1-1.

Additionally, the city of Los Angeles will be modifying park hours and closing parks on Monday. Detailed information is available at Hours of operation for childcare and senior centers can also be found at

Libraries will operate under normal hours, and residents can visit for any updated hours.

L.A. Animal Services' animal control officers, as well as Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Teams, will be ready to respond in the event of an evacuation or rescue effort. Public hours for the city's six animal shelters may change due to weather, and updates can be found

Residents can report stray or lost pets by calling 1-888-452-7381.

L.A. Zoo animals will have access to their indoor holding areas as necessary to ensure their safety and comfort. On Monday, the zoo will be closed. Zoo staff will monitor the weather and conditions on campus to ensure the safety of guests, staff and animals, officials said. Staff will also prioritize additional maintenance of the drainage systems.

Any changes to the zoo's operations will be updated for the public at its website at

In case of impacts at L.A. airports, Los Angeles World Airports on- call personnel will be available to respond. Passengers are encouraged to confirm their flight status before they depart for LAX, and to allow for enough time to travel to and from the airport.

If there are major delays or cancellations, LAWA will communicate with the media and the traveling public through social channels @flyLAXairport.

At the Port of Los Angeles, officials have been in contact with marine terminals and local stakeholders to ensure they are aware of, and prepared for, storm conditions, according to Bass' office.

Los Angeles Port Police are prepared to work closely with port tenants, the U.S. Coast Guard Long Beach sector and other local law enforcement, maritime fire, and emergency management agency partners in maintaining a readiness posture to respond to a climate emergency.

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