Heavy Rains Reveal Creek Streets

March 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

After Sunday’s daylong rainstorms, the rains ended and the sky still looked plenty cloudy Monday-yesterday, I bundled up and was bicycling into downtown, when I came to this massive puddle across from LaFayette Park. The photo shows the south side of Wilshire Boulevard between Commonwealth Avenue and Hoover Street. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a least a couple of feet of water in the park itself. The southwest corner of the park, normally enjoyed by lots of skateboarders, was being enjoyed by a half-dozen ducks.

Yesterday's post-rainstorm pond, Arroyo de la Brea re-emerging on Wilshire Boulevard across from LaFayette Park

Creek Freaks will recall (from Jessica’s earlier article Commerce over creeks at Wilshire + Hoover and other mentions since) that this particular dip in Wilshire Boulevard, and this part of LaFayette Park, were historically Arroyo de la Brea – a creek tributary of Ballona Creek.

In the past I’ve also noticed post-rainstorm large puddles at Silver Lake Boulevard, where it crosses under Temple Street – which is part of Arroyo de la Sacatela. I am curious to put the question out to creek freak readers: after Sunday’s major storm event, did you spot any other creek streets making themselves visible? Do they correspond to historic creeks that used to flow through Southern California? (and still do!)

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§ 3 Responses to Heavy Rains Reveal Creek Streets

  • charlie says:

    These definitely exist! Some of the parts of Torrance that flood used to be old wetlands. I know in Pittsburgh, and in Burlington, Vermont, there is evidence of historic channels during summer downpours or the spring snowmelt. I’ve even found a few seeps.

    It’s also fun to look for tiny fragments of nature, or places where nature has re-colonized. It’s a weird thing how manicured the LA area is, but you can find a few native plants growing ‘in the cracks’ sometimes. In an environment where even invasive plants are rare outside of gardens, that is a neat thing. Also kind of sad.

  • Edith says:

    Thanks to previous posts, I learned that I live directly on top of a historic creek in West LA, just west of the VA. I’ve often wondered why the building I live in is built on a very steep slope in a neighborhood that is otherwise flat. Erosion caused by water seems to be the most logical explanation — and, indeed, whenever there is a significant storm I see evidence of that in the form of substantial sheet flow flowing merrily in the direction that the historic map shows the creek to have flowed.

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