LAUSD allocates $5M to prepare schools for El Nino

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District has allocated $5 million to make necessary school repairs in preparation for El Nino.

The $5 million will go toward fast-tracking roof repairs for the following 10 LAUSD campuses:

John C. Fremont High School
Canoga Park High School
Audubon Middle School
South Shores Magnet School for the Visual & Performing Arts
Ernest P. Willenberg Special Education Center
75th Street Elementary School
107th Street Elementary/Magnet School
Gardena Elementary School
Calahan Community Charter
President Avenue Elementary School

In addition to these 10 schools, schools all across the district are also getting repair work done to prepare for severe weather.

"There's 13,500 buildings at our 1,000 campuses, and they all have roofs and we have different crews that we can send out. We may reassign crews that would have been doing other work, but we'll get them up on the roofs to help clear off debris and give them an inspection," said Roger Finstad, LAUSD director of maintenance and operations.

These repairs are in addition to the inspections in recent weeks to check for potential leaks. Facility crews are also clearing storm drains, rain gutters and inspecting classrooms for potential repairs and improvements needed to be ready for heavy and intense rain. Schools have also been given sandbags, generators and other supplies.

The Office of Emergency Services has prepped principals of all LAUSD campuses to review their "safe-school" plan, which includes emergency preparedness.

"We really have to focus our efforts and get the contractors to come and work for us instead of all of the other places they're being taken to or doing business with and fitting it all in and trying to do it ahead of the heavy rain storms," Finstad said.

In the coming weeks, top district administrators are set to talk specifically about the emergency response to El Nino weather, including what steps need to be taken in the event of power outages, flooding, road closures and where to move students if campuses are compromised.

According to climatologists, there is a 95 percent chance that Southern California will get hit with an El Nino system, which is said to bring as much as 3 feet of rain if forecasts are correct.
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