By Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County Fire Dept. along with members of C.E.R.T. were out in force on Saturday to help residents protect their property during El Niño rains.
Although Southern California hasn’t experienced the fierce El Niño storms predicted, that doesn’t mean they aren’t coming. The National Weather Service forecasts rain on Sunday, with hard rain midmorning.
“Sunday there [should be] periods of heavy rain from one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch and then we will dry out Monday,” said Emily Thornton, NWS meteorologist.
The real effects of El Niño are in Southern California’s future.
“We do expect to see good rainfall in February and March,” Thornton said.
LACoFD wants the public to be ready for the rain and on Saturday gave out over 2,000 sand bags to local residents.
“We are doing this throughout the county. We [feel] it is important to be prepared for the upcoming storms,” said Assistant Fire Chief Gregory Hisel.
All L.A. County Fire stations have had sand bags, some stations with sand to fill them, and preparing the bags and handing them out is taking preparedness a step further.
“It helps us when people are prepared,” said Bat. Chief Rodriguez.
The sand bag pick up on Saturday was as easy as any drive through. People entered the far north driveway at Two Strike Park, and stopped near the south driveway. The firefighters loaded the requested number of sand bags (residents were allowed 10) then residents drove off. For those who were not able to make it on Saturday but still need sand bags they are available at local fire stations.
In addition to the sand bags, fire personnel were also handing out information on El Niño and how to prepare for it including how to place sand bags. That information can also be found at www.lacounty.gov/elnino or at any LACoFD stations.