City lays out 'all-hands-on-deck' plan as second storm heads toward LA; urges residents to prepare

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Saturday, February 3, 2024
City urges LA residents to 'prepare now' ahead of storm
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass laid out details of the city's "all-hands-on-deck" plan as a second and stronger storm makes its way to the city.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass laid out details of the city's "all-hands-on-deck" plan as a second and stronger storm makes its way to the city.

Bass along with city leaders held a press conference Friday afternoon, saying Sunday will be the day Angelenos will need to look out for.

Forecast: Get the latest weather updates here

"There are indications that the coming storm could be as strong as Tropical Storm Hilary was in August," said Bass. "We made it through Tropical Storm Hilary and I am confident that we will weather this storm."

The storm is expected to be stronger and slower (meaning it will last longer), leading to flooding risks, heavy mountain snow and strong winds.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass laid out details of the city's "all hands on deck" plan as a second and stronger storm makes its way to the city.

The National Weather Service called the weather system "the largest storm of the season" and is expecting the storm to have "dangerous, even life-threatening impacts."

By noon on Sunday, heavier rain, maybe some lightning strikes, is expected across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Some showers reach San Bernardino County. In addition, a flood watch will be in effect from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon for most of L.A. County.

"The Los Angeles River will fill quickly and become a raging river and a very dangerous place to be,'' according to the NWS. "Anyone in that basin should be removed well before the onset of rain. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor draining and urban areas. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged."

Start preparing now

Bass along with Los Angeles Fire Chief Kristin Crowley stressed the importance of early planning. If you have any travel plans, you might want to change those now and avoid the roads.

You should also plan to move your parked vehicles out of flood prone, low-lying areas to avoid any damages. The city also urges people to prepare for any potential evacuation orders, especially if you live near rivers and creeks.

"We've got our swift water rescue apparatus, boats, we also have our teams that will be fully staffed, ready to respond to any water-related emergency," said Crowley.

Don't call 911 for non-emergencies

Bass urged residents to avoid calling 911 for non-emergencies, such as flooded roads, fallen branches, and flooded gutters. She urged people to use the city's MyLA311 service to report any incidents that are not life threating.

Need sandbags? The city can help

To help residents and businesses prepare, the L.A. City Fire Department will be giving free ready-to-fill sandbags at 106 neighborhood fire stations. Free sand is also available at select locations.

"All city departments will come together at the city's emergency operations center to coordinate and all-city approach to enhance our capabilities for preparedness, response and recovery efforts surrounding this storm," said Crowley.

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How is California preparing for the storm?

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services activated its operations center and positioned personnel and equipment in areas most at risk.

Brian Ferguson, the office's deputy director of crisis communications, characterized the situation as "a significant threat to the safety of Californians." He said an area from the state's border with Oregon all the way south to San Diego and from the coast into the mountains could be affected over the next 10 to 14 days.

"This really is a broad sweep of California that's going to see threats over the coming week," Ferguson said.

When will the rain end in Southern California?

Another storm is expected to move into the region Wednesday, which is expected to be much lighter. The rest of the week has rain in the forecast.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.