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Don't Catch The Wave! LA Public Health Says: Stay Out Of Storm Water

Two men one wearing a blue jacket and the other a black jacket hold their phones as they look out towards the stormy and debris filled ocean water. A pier can be seen out of focus in the background.
Two people stand on the shore line at Surfers Point at Seaside Park during a break in the storm in Ventura.
(Ashley Balderrama
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In the aftermath of this week's heavy rainfall, Los Angeles County Health officials are cautioning people to stay out of storm water, including street storm drains, creeks, rivers and the ocean, because of the increased risk of exposure to contaminants.

Contaminated Water Can Make You Sick

The threat of bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate those waters and ocean beaches and make people ill. Pathogens in the polluted water can cause gastrointestinal illness, respiratory problems, and skin rashes.

How Long Should I Stay Out Of The Ocean?

The advisory will be in effect until at least Friday afternoon and could be extended, according to Public Health.

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A recent studyfrom UCLA analyzed seven years of water quality data from 32 popular beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties and tracked levels of bacteria in the water for 10 days after storms. Researchers found that people should stay out of the ocean for at least five days after rainfall to avoid getting sick.

What's In The Forecast?

We’re getting a reprieve from the rain for a few days, but state climatologist Mike Anderson said a weekend storm has L.A. in its crosshairs.

“That storm then becomes more widespread as we head into the weekend and right at the end of the precipitation forecast period, we really see the heavy rains pick up again in Southern California and the concerns that may bring,” Anderson said.

What questions do you have about the weather we're experiencing?
A massive winter storm is hitting Southern California. We're here to answer your questions.