LA Mayor Officially Ends Flood Risk on 92 Degree Day

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ended on a near-record 93-degree day the emergency snowpack flood risk he declared eight months ago.

According to his website lamayor.org, “Mayor Garcetti introduced the pLAn in 2015 to guide Los Angeles toward an environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, and equitable future for a city expected to grow by 500,000 residents over the next 20 years.”

Key to his pLAn was launching the Los Angeles Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee and hiring $206,214 Chief Sustainability Officer to combat the rising seas and permanent drought.

But Garcetti took no action after the City received an October 2015 report from the U.S. Geological Service warning “that fluctuating land-surface elevations due to subsidence and uplift in the valley could cause serious operational-maintenance” for the 221-mile long city-owned and operated Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Rather than move quickly to protect its $1 billion investment in the Aqueduct’s infrastructure, Garcetti doubled down on Global Warming on May 16, 2016 making an official declaration: “We must adapt to live with the new normal of drought and climate change. Governor Brown is right to call for permanent measures to conserve water.”

But nine months later, with Mammoth Mountain experiencing an all-time-record of 244 inches of snowfall in just 23 days and a total of 524 inches of snowfall being dumped on California’s Sierra Mountains, Garcetti declared a crisis and authorized unlimited emergency spending to try to stabilize the decrepit Aqueduct and prevent the City from being financially liable for mass flooding damage to adjacent roads, homes and farms.

The City of Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power spent about $27 million to remove rocks, trees and silt build-up that prevented water flows by acting as dams. The City was wildly fortunate that the five-year drought had emptied many of the dams and ground-water storage, or there would have been massive uncontrolled flooding.

But Southern California Public Radio reported that last year’s run-off added about 200,000 acre feet of water into the Owens Dry Lake bed. That means that heavy rains this year would be at much higher risk of causing extensive flooding.

California enjoyed a beautiful warm Thanksgiving, but AccuWeather is reporting that a huge storm front is moving down from Canada bringing heavy rains to lower elevations and snow to the mountains.

The Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is currently  reporting 27 inches of snow and about 5 lifts running. But two snow storms beginning on Sunday, November 26 could last for eleven days. Flood warnings are already being posted for lower elevations that were burned in the recent Northern California wildfires.


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