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Morning Brief: ‘Poop Smell All In My House,’ Canceled Flights, And Sky High COVID Cases

The sewage spill in the daytime as it overs the street. There is a wet driveway and front lawn plants.
Initial estimates pegged the volume of the spill between 6 and 7 million gallons.
(Courtesy Cesar Casillas)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 5.

After a sewer collapsed in the city of Carson, 8.5 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the area, affecting residents’ homes, cars and property. 

“The smell was all in my house,” said Najah Najiy, who lives in the area and was heading home from a Kwanzaa celebration when she noticed the odor. “Can you imagine that? Poop smell all in my house.”

The spill, which was the largest recorded in the L.A. County Sanitation Districts’ history, was reported at 5 p.m. on Dec. 30 at the intersection of 212th St. and Moneta St. (Carson is located between Compton and Long Beach). Despite authorities’ attempts to stop it, untreated sewage continued to flow for over 24 hours. Some made its way to a nearby storm drain that leads to the Dominguez Channel and L.A. Harbor. Several beaches were closed in response.

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Cesar Casillas, who lives on 212th St., told my colleague Elly Yu that he first thought the spillage was rainwater. Then he started sniffing.

“It was horrendous,” he said. “You got that distinct odor of raw sewage. I thought, Oh no. This is not goodyou could see actual baby wipes, toilet paper, feces.”

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The county’s sanitation department has been washing residents’ driveways, and will replace landscaping and wash their cars as well. Spokesperson Bryan Langpap said officials have gone door-to-door with offers of help and claim forms for reimbursements.

In their initial announcement about the spill, county officials wrote, “currently, there is no threat to public health and property aside from the spilled sewage. [emphasis mine]

Read the entire story here.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Orange County Deputy D.A. Kelly Ernby — an active member of the local GOP who spoke out against COVID vaccination mandates — has died at the age of 46 from COVID complications, says a friend.
  • More than 3,000 schools around the country announced they were canceling in-person learning as of Monday evening. 
  • The U.S. is now averaging more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. 
  • Holiday travelers anxious to return home are facing thousands of cancellations and flight delays.
  • An NPR analysis of 2022 secretary of state races across the country found at least 15 Republican candidates running who question the legitimacy of President Biden's 2020 win, even though no evidence of widespread fraud has been uncovered.

Before You Go ... Chinese Roasted Fish Will Warm You Right Up

CHINESE ROASTED FISH lead
Chinese roasted fish is an excellent cold weather dish that can be found at many restaurants in Southern California, especially in the San Gabriel Valley.
(Fish photo by Gregor Moser/Unsplash. Background chili photo by Peijia Li/Unsplash.)
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Chinese roasted fish, a specialty from Chongqing in the Sichuan region of southwest China, is just the thing for our current chilly weather. The recipe involves marinating, then roasting an entire fish before placing it on top of a pot of soup filled with vegetables, meat and tofu. These four restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley offer up some of our favorite takes on the dish.

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