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California Is In A State Of Emergency. Here’s What LA Can Expect From The Storm

A swirling cloud mass is visible over the Atlantic Ocean nearly the U.S. West Coast
A view of the powerful storm system approaching the U.S. West Coast today.
Courtesy Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere)
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Los Angeles has a complicated relationship with rain. We REALLY need it — all across California. The problem is, we just aren’t used to getting a lot of it at once. And when the rain and wind intensifies at this level, it can be highly problematic.

Weathering The Intense Storm

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Northern California and the Central Valley have already felt the brunt of this latest storm; Southern California is facing it now. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for all of southwest California on Wednesday. That threat still exists this morning for L.A. and Ventura Counties. Debris flows and power outages are likely in some areas. The surf is expected to be rough all day and there's a chance of isolated thunderstorms. Already folks on Twitter have been comparing these recent rain events to El Nino of the 90s.

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The National Weather Service forecasts a lot of rain for our region. As you read the newsletter this morning, the heavy rain has already started to fall but the intensity is expected to last through the afternoon. The NWS recommends limiting road travel today, if you can. Easier said than done, I know, but if you have to drive, at least take a look at these tips for how to drive safely.

"We anticipate that this may be one of the most challenging and impactful series of storms to touch down in California in the last five years,” said Nancy Ward, the new director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, during a news conference on Wednesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide emergency declaration to quicken the agencies’ actions to deliver aid and resources to those in need.

How Local Officials Are Preparing For The Storm

Steven Frasher, the public information officer for L.A. County Public Works told my colleague Mariana Dale that his agency is ready. There are patrols on the roads to protect against rock falls and mudslides.

The county also has a network of more than 200 debris basins. “These are like neighborhood dams,” Frasher said. “As water rushes out of the mountains [debris basins] capture water and debris… and allow the water to seep out in a manageable pace.”

The most vulnerable areas will be those burned recently by wildfire. There’s no greenery to hold the soil, Frasher explained, “and this coming storm adds an extra layer of concern because there have been previous storms that have soaked into the soil a bit.”

Those areas include Lake Hughes and parts of San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys, which were impacted by the 2020 Bobcat Fire.

His advice to us? If you have not done so already, get sandbags from your local fire station this morning before the storm intensifies.

Keep dry, be smart and stay safe, Angelenos.

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As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding. 

  • How this latest storm underwent “bombogenesis” as it approached the coast of Northern California Wednesday, intensifying the cyclone.
  • Mayor Karen Bass and Councilwoman Traci Park announced Wednesday the Inside Safe Plan in Venice is underway and people have already agreed to receive housing. The Inside Safe Plan is part of the mayor’s plan to curb homelessness.
  • The House of Representatives adjourned on Wednesday night without electing a speaker. This does not only jeopardize California Rep. Kevin McCarthy; there are huge ripple effects if a new speaker is not named. New members of congress, including former Long Beach mayor-turned-rep Robert Garcia, cannot be sworn in and staffers may not get paid. (CNN)
  • Varsity Blues mastermind Rick Singer got 3.5 years in prison for his scheme to get clients’ children into college through bribing athletic coaches to take them as recruits regardless of ability or experience. Singer got less time than what prosecutors were seeking, but more time than he was hoping for.
  • A Pasadena father has been charged with intentionally driving his family off a Northern California cliff. He was arrested under suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse. All four members of the family survived.
  • The minimum wage in California got a boost at the start of the year. So did pay in almost two dozen other states. Here is the breakdown.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Locally Inspired Eateries To Try At LAX

A view of Reilly's Irish Pub in LAX. It's an open restaruant area with a gold lining along the roof. In green letters it reads Reilly's as people sit and walk by.
Reilly's Irish Pub in LAX
(Courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports)

Like I mentioned before, I’m an Olympic sprinter when it comes to traveling through the LAX to make my flight in 40 minutes or less. I subconsciously enjoy the adrenaline for some weird reason. But late last year, I made a promise to you that I would simply stop doing that so I can breathe and have time to view the different artwork at the airport.

Now, Caitlin Hernández gives me another reason to come to the airport early: local dining options at the LAX that I never knew about. I’m all about saving my coins as much as I can, but I usually come to the airport hungry. Turns out Homeboy Cafe, Farmers Market To Go and Klatch Coffee are a few budget-friendly eateries you and I can try next time we’re there.

Check out the rest of the local spots to try here.

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