By Mary O’KEEFE
The third community meeting sponsored by the city of Glendale concerning winter weather preparation was held on Monday at Clark Magnet High School.
Officials from the city, school district and Los Angeles County updated about 100 Crescenta Valley residents on what has been done and is left to do in the ongoing process of preparing for the expected flood and mud fallout from the Station Fire.
Steve Zurn, director of Glendale Public Works, said the plan was to have the K-rails and sandbags in place by Oct. 15.
“We made it in time, just barely,” he said. “We have laid 3,000 linear feet of K-rails and have [made] 16,000 sandbags. About two thirds of those have been deployed, the rest are in reserve.”
He added of those 16,000, community volunteers filled 5,000. He praised the community volunteerism attitude.
The process of protection is ongoing and changes are made as problems arise he said.
There had been some concern over K-rails blocking sidewalks making it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians. Zurn said the K-rails were there to maximize property protection however since future weather conditions appear to be clear, a path has been made for students and residents.
“In some cases one side of the street may be blocked but we have a continuous path from Markridge Road to Santa Carlotta,” he said.
Many questions into the public works office concerned the amount of time the K-rails and sandbags would be in place.
“We are in this for the long haul,” he said. “We see a minimum of three years but more likely five years.”
The command center for the preparation project is at Dunsmore Park in the community center. The city has temporarily activated the old Glendale Water and Power yard at Altura and Pennsylvania avenues to house some equipment, sandbags and K-rails, too. They are also keeping some equipment at Deukmejian Wilderness Park.
The city is in the process of installing cameras to monitor crucial basins. Cameras will watch the Cooks Canyon area, another one will be below the ranger station at Deukmejian Wilderness Park, the third at Dunsmuir Basin and the last one at Ashrama Ananda at Pennsylvania Avenue and Markridge Road. The plan is to have cameras film during inclement weather and feed images to the command center at both Dunsmore Park and the city emergency operation center downtown.
Deputy Superintendent of Glendale Schools Richard Sheehan laid out the plan for school children concerning flood evacuations. A contingency system has been arranged with the district’s bus system to have them available 24 hours a day.
If flooding happens before the school day, district officials will inform parents via their ConnectEd phone system. Sheehan said the district stays in close contact with the city officials, fire and law enforcement to make certain they have up-to-date information for parents. Parents can contact their school to have their cellphone number added to the phone system. They can have up to three numbers registered with ConnectEd.
“Our biggest concern is what happens if we get a downpour during school,” Sheehan said.
The plan in this scenario would depend on what information they receive concerning evacuation. If the roads are flooded it might be safer to have students remain at school. The district has stock- piled more food for this event, he said.
If an evacuation is called for, Mountain Avenue and Monte Vista elementary students will be taken to La Crescenta Elementary for parent pick-up. Dunsmore and Valley View elementary students will be taken to Lincoln Elementary School.
Rosemont Middle School and Clark Magnet High School students will be taken to Crescenta Valley High School. Rosemont students will be housed in MacDonald Auditorium and Clark students in the gym.
If flooding occurs as school is ending and parents are able to pick their children up, different routes may need to be used depending on emergency vehicle activity. This will be communicated through ConnectEd.
Patricia Wood from Los Angeles Public Works gave a basin update. Most debris basins have been cleaned. Pinelawn, Starfall and Pickens debris basins are being retrofitted for temporary capacity enhancement.
There continues to be K-rails threat analysis. Wood said residents will see more truck activity in local neighborhoods because of this work and asked for homeowners’ patience.
Officials reminded residents that this is not a quick fix and that homes need protection for at least five years. They advised homeowners to consult professionals on how to protect their homes.
“And if you decide to build something permanent remember to follow the proper city or county permit rules,” Wood said.