STATE BEGINS PROMOTING STORM AWARENESS.Byline: Jane E. Allen Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
State officials have launched a campaign encouraging Californians to prepare their homes and property for soaking rains and flooding, even though La Nina La Niña
A cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, occurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns. is likely to bring fewer strong storms than last year's El Nino.
About one in three La Ninas - a cooling of tropical Pacific ocean waters - brings major rain to Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, during the winter months.
To increase local awareness, Gov. Pete Wilson For others named Pete Wilson, see .
Peter Barton Wilson (born August 23, 1933) is an American Republican politician from California. Wilson served as the thirty-sixth Governor of California (1991–1999), the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that has proclaimed this week California Winter Weather and Flood Preparedness Week. The state's Office of Emergency Services emergency services Emergency care '…services …necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health and, because of the danger to life or health, require the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish those services' , Department of Water Resources and the National Weather Service kicked off the week with news conferences in Sacramento and Los Angeles.
``Californians should take measures to reduce the risk of serious harm and damage to life and property in the event of flood and storms,'' said emergency services director Richard Andrews on Monday.
The message went out as the city of Fontana recovered from a winter-style storm Sunday that dumped as much as 3 inches of rain in a half-hour and flooded as many as 50 homes and businesses. The surprise soaker in the San Bernardino community of more than 103,000 residents created rivers of water in city streets and clogged storm drains about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.
``This is an excellent reminder to people why we're out there telling them routinely to get ready for the winter storms,'' said John Schmidt, Fontana's emergency manager. ``Last night we went into disaster mode for about 45 minutes and handed out probably a couple hundred sandbags sandbags
small sacks containing sand used to support an anesthetized animal in dorsal recumbency and prevent it from rolling sideways during anesthesia or surgery. .''
Parts of California traditionally get pounded during the winter months, even without a weather-altering El Nino or La Nina brewing in the Pacific Ocean. The 1998 El Nino, combined with floods of 1995 and 1997, claimed 53 lives and caused $4 billion in damages. Storms dumped about 50 inches of rain in Santa Clarita from Oct. 1, 1997, through the spring.
Among the hardest hit was the Russian River hamlet of Rio Nido, where officials estimate repairs will require up to $7 million.
Mike Reilly, the Sonoma County 5th District supervisor, visited Sunday and said crews are installing an emergency pipeline to keep streams from backing up in the area where the slides occurred in February. They're also clearing debris to create a landing place ``for any more of that slide that comes down this winter. We estimate we've still got 150,000 cubic yards of material that is 600 feet up above the canyon.''
Although most displaced residents have moved back, 30 homes in the upper canyon remain evacuated, Reilly said.
Sonoma's supervisors will take up a flood and winter preparedness resolution Tuesday, Reilly said. ``We're praying for sunshine.''
Areas devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. by wildfires are on high alert for possible mudslides. Near Fillmore, where Ventura County crews spent the weekend mopping up a 12,613-acre fire, officials worry about winter runoff. In 1995, Pole Creek flooded and caused $700,000 in damage.
Santa Barbara County will hold its annual pre-flood season meeting next Monday and will probably review sandbag Sandbag
A stalling tactic used by management to deter a company that is showing interest in taking them over.
The company stalls in hopes that a more favorable company will take them over. policy, said Mary Barron, emergency services manager.
``Unfortunately, in some cases they were appropriated by people who then sold them or were using them for sandbagging Sandbagging is the practice of deceptively portraying oneself as being in a weaker position than is true.
El Nino and La Nina are extremes of a cycle. El Nino is caused by abnormally warm ocean temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific. La Nina is a product of abnormal cooling.