Beverly Glen flooding in 1952 (Photo: USC Archives)
If you live on a canyon road, chances are you will experience some mild to severe flooding during heavy rains. This is especially true if you live in Southern California where we either have drought or heavy rains. We have never had an average rainfall ever. It’s all or nothing.
If you live on a canyon road such as Laurel, Benedict, Coldwater, Beverly Glen….you know they drain all the rain, water, mud, debris from the entire mountain down these few main roads. All the top roads such as Mulholland and sides roads lead and drain to these roads. The goal is for the water to drain down the road. You do not want to block the flow of the water down the road. Below are some tips on how to minimize flooding for you and your neighbors.
1. If your trash cans are on the street, bring them onto your property. They block the flow of water going down the hill. They also cause debris to accumulate and block the flow of water. This causes the street to flood. Your cans can also get swept down the road. Legally they should only be on the road from 6 pm the night before trash pickup to 6 pm the next day.
2. If you see debris in your gutter, pick it up and put it in the trash. Otherwise it will block the flow of water causing flooding.
3. If you live near one of the storm drains, keep it clear. Yes, it’s not your trash stuck in there blocking the flow of water but it will cause YOUR house to flood. The key again is to keep the water flowing down the hill and into the storm drains if need be.
4. If your car is parked on the main canyon road, put it in your garage, carport, driveway, anywhere but on the main canyon road. It blocks debris and water flow. Your car can also be hit by a hydroplaning driver. It can even be swept down the road in heavy rains.
5. If after all of this the road is flooding and water is about to go into your driveway then your home, have sandbags ready. They are free at the fire stations or get some at Home Depot. Always have them on hand. You can also have sand on hand. In emergency fill with dirt, rocks, place bricks on top to keep the bags in place.
6. Always have an emergency plan and kit in place. Have an emergency kit with flash lights, water… Have one for your pets as well.
7. You may lose power in a flood. This is where head lamps, flash lights come in handy. Remember you can charge your cell phone in your car. Hopefully the cell tower has not lost power. If it has, you may have to drive down to Sunset to get reception from a tower with power.
Most importantly, keep an eye out for your neighbor. Know your neighbors’ names, numbers… Please do your part to prepare by clearing the street.