County Talks Storm Preparations at Council Meeting

Trucks, debris and sandbags are a familiar sight for residents of Crescenta Valley after the  Station Fire burned through the foothills in 2009.
Trucks, debris and sandbags are a familiar sight for residents of Crescenta Valley after the Station Fire burned through the foothills in 2009.

By Brandon HENSLEY

Sediment placement trucks will again be making rounds this rainy season in the foothills, and those K-rails in specific areas will also remain, according to L.A. Public Works officials.

During the Nov. 17 CV Town Council meeting at the La Crescenta Library, Pat Wood, representing the L.A. County Flood Control Division, gave a presentation detailing what Flood Control will do during the winter and the kind of clean-up that will take place.
Southern California is expected to experience a moderate La Niña with periods of dryness. But, Wood said, mudslides are expected in La Crescenta, as always.

In talking about storm preparations, Wood said in 2010 the Starfall, Pinelawn and Pickens Canyon debris basins were enlarged to better prepare for the rains.  When those basins are full, people can expect to see more of the same trucks hauling sediment.

“Be prepared to see truck traffic again,” Wood said. “This is going to be continuing for another three years.”

Wood added that this will be the case for the next three years because typically after the kind of fires the town had in 2009, recovery time usually takes about five years.

Wood said L.A. County visited over 100 homes in 2009 as part of its protection measures, which was done to “deflect mudflows around structures without shooting them over to your neighbor’s property.”
Mudflow is a concern this year and County is going to give out warnings twice a day, at 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is a mudflow hotline available as well, at (800) 214-4020. Wood pointed out that K-rails will remain in the areas of Briggs Terrace and Pinewood Road.

Officials will coordinate with fire and sheriff departments on evacuation plans and procedures, Wood said, and the road maintenance division will coordinate with the Sheriff’s Department for road closures and procedures.

Following storms, Wood said most sediment would be taken to the Dunsmuir site or gravel pits in the San Fernando Valley. A question was raised about why a place like Long Beach Harbor wouldn’t take it.

“They really didn’t want our sediment. They want to get the sediment from more local sources,” Wood answered. She also cited the heavy traffic on the freeways leading to Long Beach that trucks would have to endure.
More information on storm preparations can be found at

Before Wood spoke, it was announced that the East County Community Services Agency would take the reins from the North County on issues pertaining to La Crescenta.

“All the activities that you currently have, you will continue to have them. All the projects you’re working on, we will work hand in hand with you to get those going,” said Frank Gonzales, deputy director.

CV Council President Cheryl Davis asked about the progress of the dog park, which is scheduled to open next spring.

“Hopefully by Dec. 1 you should see someone working at Crescenta Valley [Park] doing some construction. That’s the word I got today,” Gonzales said, while adding late April would be the best time to expect it to open.

The next CV Land Use Committee meeting is scheduled for Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.