Karen Bass
Karen Bass. Campaign photo

Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of local emergency in Los Angeles Friday, as the city recovers from a series of strong storms and prepares for more rain and wind in the coming days.

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.

A series of atmospheric rivers has slammed California over the past week, with more precipitation expected over the weekend and into early next week. Areas such as the Hollywood Reservoir saw 5.75 inches of rain between Jan. 9 and 10. That storm also opened up a sinkhole in Chatsworth and closed Mulholland Drive. There were power outages, downed power poles and trees and substantial mud and debris flows.

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.

Newsom declared a statewide emergency on Jan. 4, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors followed with a local emergency on Jan. 10.

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