Preparing for rain – again

Trucks carrying debris from local basins have been traveling up Briggs Avenue for weeks in preparation for the next storm.  Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
Trucks carrying debris from local basins have been traveling up Briggs Avenue for weeks in preparation for the next storm. Photo by Mary O’KEEFE

Public works and residents get ready for more rain next week.


Once again Crescenta Valley residents will be looking skyward, adding sandbags and holding their breath.

The rains are supposed to come late Sunday night, early Monday morning, said Jamie Meier, National Weather Service meteorologist.

“Right now that’s what it looks like and the rest of the week is pretty unsettled,” she added.

At this point the weather service cannot determine how strong the storm system will be or from what direction it will come. It does appear to be more than one system moving in throughout next week.

Meier explained that La Crescenta and La Cañada normally receive more rain when the storms come in from the south.

“Right now it doesn’t look like a southerly flow, however that can change. For now [residents] should be prepared. With the rain, something is going to happen,” she said.

Meier added that this storm does not appear to be the same type that brought the short duration/high intensity rain to the area a few weeks ago.

That storm filled many of the debris basins, according to Los Angeles County Public Works.

Trucks from Los Angeles County and Glendale public works have been driving up and down the roads around Crescenta Valley cleaning out those debris basins in preparation for the next storm.

Kim Mattersteig, newly elected Crescenta Valley Town Council member who will be officially given the oath of office later this month, is issuing her own weather warning.

“The rains are coming now and we have to be ready,” she said.

Mattersteig has obtained several hundred booklets on how to prepare for flooding from the L.A. County Public Works. “These are really good books with a lot of information. They are really helpful with determining where to put sandbags.”

A list of where residents can find the booklets is at the end of this article.

L.A. County Fire Chief Steve Martin spoke to the CV Town Council at the November meeting about what to expect when the rains come. He was blunt in his assessment of the future of the area.

“We are here to tell you nothing…in recorded history has been seen [like this to prepare us] for what we are about to have come down on us,” Martin said at the meeting.

Officials have said that for the next three to five years due to the Station Fire, Crescenta Valley residents must be prepared for the flooding and mud flows during rain storms. The Station Fire was unprecedented in L.A. County, burning away all vegetation that acted as a barrier between the San Gabriels and homes.

“We are monitoring the Deukmejian [Wilderness] Park,” said Capt. Mario Vasquez of Glendale Fire Station 28.

The city of Glendale has four cameras placed throughout the park that monitor mud flow. “For the first time we have an early warning device,” he added.

Steve Pierce, CVTC president, said residents need to be prepared and ready to evacuate.

“They just need to be ready. When it starts raining residents need to be ready to leave.  They can’t wait and think [nothing] will happen,” he said.

Public works, firefighters, law enforcement and county and city officials are all monitoring the area. Command centers are ready to be activated, officials said.

“We will have a sandbag Saturday at Two Strike Park on Dec. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon.  We need volunteers,” Mattersteig said.

She is getting volunteers together to help fill sandbags and to help seniors who are unable to sandbag their residence.

Anyone who knows of someone who needs help or would like information on the booklets or sandbag Saturday can e-mail Mattersteig at

Booklets can be found at Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, 4554 Briggs Ave.; CV Water District at 2700 Foothill Blvd. and CV Weekly, 3800 La Crescenta Ave. Ste. 101.