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Residents, officials discuss mudslide info

November 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
County officials and residents in the areas affected by the Station Fire met to discuss mudslide prevention at a town hall meeting Tuesday night.Residents are concerned about rain which could trigger potentially devastating debris flows.

There have been three major fires in L.A. County just in the past year so there are a lot of bare hillsides out there. In fact, just last week, we saw how quickly mudslides can happen. So Tuesday night, concerned residents gathered to get information on how they can be prepared and potentially save their lives.

Alexander Waintrub is lucky he has a home to keep his rescued St. Bernard dogs. He closed escrow on his Tujunga property the day the Station Fire started

"It was a blazing welcome indeed and the fire, as you can see, it didn't reach the neighborhood really but it came pretty close," said Waintrub.

In fact, the blaze came within just yards of his house. The fire is long gone now, but for the next five years, he like many residents in this area will have to worry about mudslides.

"There is no hundred percent certainty about the future. I think if we all try to maintain the area and keep it clean, keep the vegetation intact as much as possible," said Waintrub.

Just last week the backyards of half a dozen homes in La Canada Flintridge were buried under a wall of mud. Just the slightest amount of rain sent debris flowing downhill there and on Angeles Crest Highway.

"The county has been out and giving us information on flood control measures. We are putting up the ply wood. We have done everything we can on our own land, but now I want to see what the governmental agencies are going to do to protect us as well," said Tujunga resident Sue Ellen Hussung.

For months workers have been preparing with K-rails and sandbags but a lot more can be done.

"I understand the situation and the problem and the shortage of man power, and I commend them all. They have done a wonderful job and I don't want to add to their burden. I'm just interested to know what's going to happen in my house," said Hussung.

Tuesday's meeting is just one of three meetings that will be held in the county over the next month.


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