Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV
Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV

County officials said Tuesday they are gearing up to manage emergency responses to potentially strong rainstorms that could bring dangerous flash flooding and mud and debris slides thanks to an anticipated powerful El Nino this winter.

County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Michael Antonovich said it was critical that the county assess its risks and vulnerabilities.

There is a 90 percent chance that El Nino will hit Los Angeles County this winter and an 85 percent probability that it will last into early spring, Solis said, citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

Scientists are warning that this El Nino could be even stronger than 1997, when storms caused more than a half-billion dollars in damage and led to 17 deaths.

The board directed multiple county departments to report back in 30 days on emergency response plans, flood-control capacity and plans to capture and store stormwater.

Experts have said, however, that even a massive El Nino will not solve the state’s drought. The drought has already contributed to a busy wildfire season, which will exacerbate debris flows when storms come.

— City News Service 

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