Know your flood risk

With a strong El Niño expected to bring lots of rain to Southern California this winter, there’s never been a better time for LA County residents to get informed about the risk of flooding in their neighborhoods.

It only takes a few inches of water in a home to cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. When it comes to protecting a property against flood damage, being prepared is the best defense.

Homeowners insurance covers many hazards, but flooding isn’t typically one of them. Fortunately, flood insurance is available to almost everyone—even those at greatest risk, like homes in recent burn areas. And LA County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program makes most county residents eligible for significant discounts.

Detailed resources are available online. They include:

The county’s Homeowner’s Guide for Flood, Debris, and Erosion Control is available at dpw.lacounty.gov/wmd/HomeOwners and offers guidance to protect homes.

Several other storm-related resources are also available to LA County residents.

  • Know your flood zone. Visit lacounty.gov/wmd/floodzone to see if your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
  • Protect your home and business by obtaining flood insurance. Find out more about flood insurance at gov/floodsmart.
  • For more flood preparedness information, see Public Works’ National Flood Insurance program website at lacounty.gov/wmd/nfip or call (626) 458-4321.
  • Sandbags listed at lacounty.gov/dsg/sandbags are available to all County residents.
  • Be prepared. Prepare a family emergency response plan and disaster supply kits. Visit the County’s Emergency Survival Program at lacoa.org/esp.htm for tips and guides to prepare for all kinds of emergencies.
  • Sign up for emergency notifications to your mobile phone and email with Alert LA County at lacounty.gov.

High surf could trigger flooding

There is risk of high surf and coastal flooding along Southern California beaches this week, the National Weather Service is warning.

There will be a risk of coastal flooding Tuesday, October 27, through Friday, October 30, due to a combination of unusually high tides and building surf. Astronomical factors are producing high tides of almost 7 feet. Elevated surf of 3-6 feet is expected on area beaches, possibly accompanied by strong rip currents.

The highest tides are expected Tuesday through Thursday during the mid-morning hours. Low lying areas, including Malibu, Long Beach and Los Alamitos Bay may encounter coastal flooding during morning hours.

The county Department of Beaches and Harbors is making sandbags available to residents in coastal communities and providing guidance how to stack sandbags in order to prevent water intrusion.

Heavy rain and urban flood watch

Southern Los Angeles County communities are under a National Weather Service Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory until 7:30 p.m., Monday evening, October 19.

Storm cells over the area are producing moderate to heavy rain showers in the Altadena, Boyle Heights, Burbank, Carson, downtown Los Angeles, Eagle Rock, Glendale, Griffith Park, La Cañada Flintridge and Long Beach areas. Heavy rainfall may cause urban and small stream flooding that will overflow poor drainage areas resulting in minor flooding in the advisory area.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall may cause ponding of water on highways, streets and underpasses as well as  low lying spots. Do not attempt to travel across flooded roads and find an alternative route.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown.