Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

3 debris catch basins in fire-stripped foothills near capacity

The number of debris catch basins nearing capacity in the fire-stripped foothill communities of La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta rose to three today, potentially threatening more homes, Los Angeles County flood control officials said.

“It is possible that with this much precipitation, debris and water will go over the tops,” said Los Angeles County Department of Public Works spokesman Bob Spencer.

However, efforts to remove the gunk from those and other basins came to a halt today with the arrival of heavy rain.

“It’s much too dangerous for our crews right now. So far there have been no major incidents,” Spencer said. “We are ready to respond within minutes to any community.”

On Monday, the Mullally catch basin perched over La Cañada Flintridge filled to capacity, contributing to the evacuation orders for more than 400 homes today. By 2 p.m. today, officials said two additional basins – Harter and Starfall – were also nearing capacity.

The rest of the county’s roughly 30 catch basins in burn zones on the southern flanks of the San Gabriel Mountains “are running from 40% to 80% full,” Spencer said.

-- Louis Sahagun in La Cañada Flintridge

Comments () | Archives (3)

You clean the catch basins before it rains, or install
screens, clean those from the top....freeways same thank you

My question is this: How full were those catch basins before the storms? Were they empty or already filled close to capacity? If the latter is true, this might imply that the County was negligent in its regular maintenance of the catch basins, which, as common sense would rule, should be emptied on a regular basis in order to avert disaster to homes in times of heavy rains. I know this for a fact: Residents living directly below the Mullaly catch basin have for years complained that the county was not doing enough to empty it. Would the county be accountable for major damage to the homes directly below Mullaly and the other capacity-filled basins? Look into it, Louis.

In regards to the question about Mullally debris basin, I am a heavy equipment opereator, and this basin has been cleaned after every storm this year. To my knowledge, 3 times in the last 4 months. Due to enviromental reasons, which I applaude, the L.A.C.D.P.W. Flood control division, is not allowed to clean any basin untill a percentage is filled up, due to nesting birds, wildlife, and endangered species. Because a state of emergency is declared now, we are able to clear these basins, after any storm. Understand, after the firws that ravaged our hillsides, it only takes a couple of inches of rain, to send down thousands of cubic yards of mud into these narrow canyons and basins. Considering the amount of rain we have had in this weeks storm, the county has done an incredible job, working round the clock, protecting the citizens of these area's.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: