Updates from City and County Officials About the Ongoing Tropical Storm
By Dolores Quintana
The National Weather Service issued this alert around 5:00 p.m. local time on Sunday. It states, “Life-threatening and locally catastrophic flash flooding is expected this evening across southern California as Tropical Storm Hilary advances north and produces heavy rainfall.”
Hilary has now reached Southern California and will be traveling northward into Los Angeles overnight or on Monday morning. The Los Angeles area has been under a flash flood warning all day, and the warning has been updated to last until 3:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Another jolt occurred this afternoon when residents’ phones received a warning about an earthquake. The 5.0 earthquake was centered in Ojai, California, and was only felt by a few in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that schools will be closed on Monday, August 21. The press release stated, “Los Angeles Unified is making the difficult decision to close all of our schools, campuses, and after-school programs on Monday, Aug. 21. Students and families: please do not come to your school campus.
The City of West Hollywood announced effective immediately, due to storm conditions, the City is suspending parking permit regulations and citations for street sweeping. This suspension will remain in effect for the rest of Sunday, August 20, and Monday, August 21. Permit regulations and citations for street sweeping will resume on Tuesday, August 22. The PickUp will end service at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, due to heavy rains and storm conditions, and the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market has been canceled for Monday, August 21, due to heavy rains and storm conditions.
To ensure continuity of learning, we have taken multiple steps to provide lessons and activities for students. Teachers will be asked to provide activities and resources on Schoology by 10:30 a.m. In addition, instructional resources are available at LAUSD.org, and KLCS will provide educational programming. If families and students need additional help, please contact our Family Hotline at (213) 443-1300. For our employees: you will receive further guidance from your division head on adjustments we are making in the face of Tropical Storm Hilary.
Los Angeles Unified expects to resume school on Tuesday, Aug. 22. As always, please continue to follow the advice of your local officials, and please stay safe.”
During the Los Angeles City’s update on the storm, Fire Chief Kristen Crowley reported that the Fire Department deployed an augmented workforce to deal with emergencies.
She also reported that one tree had been uprooted in Westwood during the storm. All city parks and pools will be closed until further notice, and the LAFD went into emergency mode when the Ojai earthquake struck at 2:41 p.m. No damage to the city has been reported.
Sandbags will be available from LAFD stations, and you can find a local Fire Department with sandbags on the LAFD website.
The Chair of the Board of Los Angeles County Supervisors, Janice Hahn, then spoke and announced that she had signed the county’s emergency declaration regarding the current emergency and that Governor Gavin Newsom issued a declaration of emergency for all areas in the state affected by Hilary yesterday.
Other announcements from Supervisor Hahn are that all Los Angeles Public Libraries would be closed until further notice and that Los Angeles County Health has stated that everyone should stay out of the water at our beaches for the next 72 hours and stay away from the water, despite the obvious curiosity that many may have to see how the storm is affecting the ocean or rivers or streams.
Supervisor Hahn, the vice-chair of Metro Los Angeles with Mayor Karen Bass, announced that Metro Los Angeles has not suspended any service in the city yet. Each official made sure to stress the importance of City residents staying off the roads unless they have to be on them.
Lisa Phillips of the National Weather Service gave an update that said the storm is moving fast, giving it less time to weaken. They are looking at the peak of the rainfall from the storm for the Los Angeles Basin to be around 9:00 p.m. The Flood Watch is ongoing until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, and the Tropical Storm warning is still in effect.
Governor Gavin Newsom spoke briefly about the extra manpower that the state is deploying in Los Angeles and on the island of Maui to assist with the disaster in Lahaina.