January 15, 2023

Mayor Bass Declares State of Emergency over Storm Damage

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass on Friday declared a state of emergency over storm damage after the city was pummeled by rain.

Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency Friday after the greater Los Angeles area was pummeled with rain, causing flooding, roadway damage, and deaths in California.

The declaration, effective immediately, directs the city's Emergency Operations Organization to take steps to protect life and property and requests that Gov. Gavin Newsom waive regulations to assist response and recovery efforts. Bass also called for funds under the California Disaster Assistance Act and for the state to expedite local access to other disaster relief programs and resources.

Los Angeles saw a significant amount of rain early in the week, and the area is expected to get more throughout the weekend. Most of Los Angeles County saw between 1-6 inches of rain over the last seven days, with some areas, like Topanga and Sepulveda Canyons, seeing nearly 8 inches. Downtown Los Angeles received around 5.04 inches of rain over the last week, and the San Gabriel Valley reached nearly 7 inches in parts. The San Fernando Valley varied with areas seeing between 4 and nearly 8 inches of rain.

The California storms proved deadly and devastating for the state's infrastructure. At least 19 people have died amid the intense storms, the Los Angeles Times reported. It's a number that is likely to grow, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. These deaths have been in Santa Cruz, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, and more.

In Los Angeles, the rain significantly damaged many roads and buildings, including a massive sinkhole in Chatsworth that swallowed two cars.

The region was expected to see more rain starting Friday night and lasting through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service for Los Angeles and Oxnard.

The next storm beginning Saturday is expected to "further cripple the city's ability to mitigate cascading impacts of the continuous storms," according to the declaration.

"Based upon the above events, there exists the potential that said incidents are likely to become beyond the control of the normal services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of the regularly constituted branches and departments of the city government," it reads.

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