LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - At a command post set up for public information officers (PIOs) to get information from the higher-ups to the public officials from LA County Sheriffs, Fire and Public Works all have a unified message. Be prepared! And, many are getting ready for our next storm.
Alex Diaz and his son from Oak Park aren't taking any chances. Forced to flee their home in the Woolsey fire they spent 5 or 6 days in a parking lot of a high school and, "now we're dealing with the rain." And, sandbags! We caught up with them at a fire station filling up bags. Thursday's rain caused some minor problems at his home. He says the garage got flooded. And, with what's being forecast, it could be worse so, he's not hanging around. Just getting sandbags to protect the house.
The hills in many of the Woolsey fire areas are looking pretty green, but LA County public works incident commander John Kelly says don't be deceived by appearance. He says the hillsides aren't very strong and there are many risky areas.
There are also many techniques to mitigate potential problems. The debris In Malibu Canyon falling rocks can and have proven deadly. so right at the tunnel in the canyon, Kelly says, "We went out there with the fire department and used a water cannon to loosen and remove boulders and rocks we think were a potential hazard. We can't remove them all but we did remove a lot of the ones that are at high risk."
While LA County is mobilized so, are the other Southern California counties. Like LA County, Orange County Public Works has taken measures to put up barrier, redirect debris or mud flows and keep water flowing away from homes.
As for LA County Agencies, Steve Frasher with Public Works says, "Be careful of access during the storm. Neighborhoods and roads can be cut off with mudflow and debris flow so be ready for that."
Deputy Morgan Arteaga with LA County Sheriffs says, "Our main focus is preparing families for evacuation if they were to come about by preparing pack-a-go kits which means getting all your important documents together... making sure they have all of the medicines that they're going to need. Passports any kind of important documentation… pictures that are of sentimental value."
And, Pono Barnes with LA County Fire says, "We'd like our communities to be prepared. Take the time now while we have it to prepare you family, have the go-kit ready to go and stay vigilant."