Atmospheric River Storm Slams Baldwin Hills

Staff / Photos Courtesy of Miranda Bland

      One of the most formidable storms in Southern California’s recorded history has caused at least 520 mudslides in the Los Angeles area, having drenched the city with more than half of its seasonal average rainfall in merely two days. Officials cautioned on Tuesday that the threat was far from over.

      “Our hillsides are saturated,” said Mayor Karen Bass, who signed a Declaration of Local Emergency on Monday to secure the necessary resources to address the storm’s aftermath. “Even when the rain stops, the ground may continue to shift.”

      The torrential downpour that assaulted Los Angeles County has particularly affected the Baldwin Hills community. Over 6 inches of rain resulted in a number of mudslides and causing the closure of South La Brea Avenue northbound between Don Lorenzo Drive and Coliseum Street as well as Don Ricardo Drive.

      Noted Local resident Miranda Bland, “Happens every year in someone’s neighborhood. This year it’s ours. “

      For Dion Peronneau, a 25-year resident of Baldwin Vista, the storm took a perilous twist when mud infiltrated her home, coming within feed of where she slept early Monday morning, and causing significant damage. Her residence is now yellow tagged, allowing her only to retrieve belongings but prohibiting her from staying.

      Mayor Bass, who surveyed the damage, also maintains a home in the area.

      Peronneau’s story mirrors that of several other homeowners who are facing similar ordeals. One, who discovered his red-tagged and heavily mud-damaged home upon returning from a trip to Seattle, articulated the extent of such losses.

      As of Wednesday morning, the L.A. Mayor’s office reported that there have been 84 incidents of buildings reported as requiring inspection due to mudslides and slope failures in the Los Angeles area; 12 buildings have been red tagged (no entry) and 30 buildings had been yellow tagged.

      L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell assured residents of concerted efforts with local departments to tackle the mudslide situation. My office is working with the County’s Department of Public Works, Parks Department, and the City of Los Angeles to help address the mudslide on the slope of land along South La Brea,” said L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell in a statement.

      “Today, a team of County engineers and representatives from my office were onsite to assess the mudslide area. My foremost concern is the safety of our residents and communities. If you believe your home is in immediate danger of mud and debris flow, call 9-1-1 and evacuate the property until the threat has passed. As a resident of the City of LA, you can also call the MYLA311 helpline to request assistance or report storm-related property damage. Residents in our unincorporated communities can contact Public Works 24/7 dispatch at 626-458-4357.”

      A thorough resource guide has also been developed by the County to aid property owners in combating mudslide-related structural damages.

      Reaffirming federal support, President Biden assured FEMA’s readiness with resources and personnel across the state.

      This recent deluge is noted as one of the strongest in recorded history.

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