Rain Rain Rain… Pouring Down Upon the Night

January 20, 2010 § 2 Comments

There’s a lot of virtual ink that this Creek Freak has been reading about the huge rainfall that Southern California is receiving this week. I am staying warm and keeping away from L.A.’s dangerous floodwaters (not necessarily inherently dangerous, mostly made so by our societal choices.) Here’s a round-up of some of the articles and images that I found interesting:

>Photo galleries at The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times

>Streets flooding in Long Beach (LAist) and San Pedro (LAist, Daily Breeze, and YouTube.)

>River rising in Atwater Village and in the San Fernando Valley.

Tracking stream flow on the Arroyo Seco

>Nancy Steele’s In the Watershed blog shows cool tools to track local rainfall.

>Mark Gold’s Spouting Off blog blames excessive storm damages on our inability to raise stormwater funding taxes.

>The L.A. Times’ invaluable Louis Sahagun article Storms could test L.A. County’s aging flood-control system reports on the upstream end of things – filling and overflowing debris basins in our foothills. Some excerpts:

Officials said that of the 30 catch-basins located along the south-facing slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains between Big Tujunga Canyon and Altadena, one was filled to the brim and nine others were a concern because of fast-rising debris levels. Crews worked around the clock with earthmovers and dump trucks to keep the basins flowing, but were slowed by intermittent hail, lightning and heavy rain.

Of particular concern was the Mullally debris basin above La Cañada Flintridge, which overflowed on Monday, contributing to a decision to temporarily evacuate neighborhoods at the base of steep, denuded slopes.

A few miles to the west, the Pickens debris basin in Sun Valley — which is the size of a baseball field and about 40 feet deep — loaded up with mud 35 feet deep within four hours Monday. The basin was recently expanded to handle up to 125,000 cubic yards of silt and debris, officials said.

(Pickens Canyon Wash is the creek that divides La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge. It’s a tributary of the Verdugo Wash which runs through Glendale then empties into the L.A. River. Pickens was the site of the infamous and deadly New Years Day floods in 1934.)

>The flows of the creeks downstream of the massive Station Fire are flowing black – full of ash. See videos at The San Gabriel Mountains: Stories & Rants of a Quasi Mountain Man and Pasadena Adjacent.  The latter asked our advice on where all that ash goes. I don’t have a good answer… a lot of it ends up in the ocean… and it seems like the ash will smother some things in the short run, but that it will serve as nutrient/fertilizer as these upper watershed creeks bounce back. If anyone else has an informed answer or links to information, please comment.

>The creek park at the end of my block and the rainwater harvesting garden in my front yard are doing well.

Plenty more rain to come… imaginary prize to the person who can identify the song referenced in this article’s title.

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