November 20, 2011 § 5 Comments
October 10, 2011 § 4 Comments
Creek Freak’s Jessica Hall has the money line in Emily Green’s L.A. Times Dry Garden column last Friday:
This much I know as I estimate rainwater and consider how to manage it: Although the new system must function, it also must be beautiful. Earlier in the year, as I was babbling proudly to garden designer Jessica Hall about the plan to whisk half the roof water through concealed piping to the rear orchard, she asked, “Do you want to celebrate the water?”
A strong degree of brute efficiency will clearly be necessary, but as the first rains wash into L.A. County, the answer to Hall’s question is an unequivocal yes. Yes!
Read the full article here. Thanks Emily Green and Jessica Hall!
(Speaking of celebrating water, albeit in bigger more institutional ways, check out Jane Tsong’s Creek Freak article on Seattle’s new wastewater facility, also covered at Circle of Blue.)
October 2, 2011 § 5 Comments
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.
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.
December 22, 2010 § 4 Comments
December 21, 2010 § 3 Comments
This year, it’s La Niña – a climate condition opposite from El Niño. I confess that I am not a climate expert and I don’t entirely understand exactly how hot and cold cycles in the Pacific Ocean actually interact with Southern California weather… but, generally, the basic equation is that El Niño brings wetter winters and La Niña brings drier ones. Various sources have been predicting a relatively dry winter. For example, this KPBS story Researchers Say Strong La Niña Means Dry Winter For California states: “Researchers say a strong La Niña means below normal rainfall for Southern California…”
Los Angeles has experienced four consecutive days of healthy rainstorms, and a doozy predicted tomorrow. This afternoon’s L.A. Times article Strongest storm yet could bring flooding, tornadoes, hail and high winds to L.A. area predicts “thunderstorms, hail, and even waterspouts and tornadoes along the Southern California coast early Wednesday.” Could this possibly be consistent with La Niña? Well… maybe.
December 6, 2010 § 5 Comments
Last night’s rain reminded me to share these pictures of the Bimini Slough Ecology Park at high-water flow. This park is one of my favorite local creek park projects; basically a block of street was unpaved to create a small park where rainwater runoff water flows through a creek bed. For lots more detail on the Bimini Slough Ecology Park, read this earlier article.
January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
Creek Freak reader Peter Bennet sent us some impressive photographs of the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek; photos showing the huge differences between everyday flows and during large storms.
This pair was taken on Ballona looking downstream from the Overland Avenue Bridge in Culver City:
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:
>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.
Plenty more rain to come… imaginary prize to the person who can identify the song referenced in this article’s title.