Orange and Los Angeles counties are on target for back-to-back storms that will blow through the region starting late Thursday, likely causing urban flooding and wind damage, according to the National Weather Service.
Orange County has been sued for the second time in four days over allegations that it broke the law when it recently cleared out portions of a homeless encampment along the riverbed in Orange to make room to stockpile boulders and sand for flood control purposes.
Orange County’s recent winter downpours have flooded roads, clogged storm drains, downed power lines and battered public buildings, costing a combined $9.3 million in damage and cleanup to local public agencies, according to county officials.
“Already five years behind schedule and about $12 million over budget, a new pump station to prevent flooding in Seal Beach still hasn’t been finished – and won’t be for another six months, say county officials. …
“The pump station and a new water basin were originally intended to keep Seal Beach from getting flooded again after the overwhelming rains of January 1995.”
“So here’s what we know: For nearly 10 years, the Orange County Water District has waged a complex legal war to force businesses to pay more than $200 million to clean up contamination that it insists threatens drinking water.”
“Falcons and hawks trained and flown by Adam Chavez of San Juan Capistrano evidently have succeeded – at least for now – in scaring away sea gulls blamed for polluting the beach with their droppings in recent years. The birds hung out by the hundreds at a freshwater pond at the mouth of a Poche flood-control channel.”
“It’s the start of the planting season for strawberries, a dwindling crop in an increasingly urbanized county. … The persistence of local strawberry fields is explained in part by simple economics: Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for a pound of berries than, say, a pound of oranges.
“As Orange County heads into another season of dry vegetation and fire-stoking winds, fire officials will rely on a time-tested method to gauge the danger: clipping samples of wild vegetation and, back at headquarters, measuring how much moisture they hold.
“But a new effort by a research team that includes Chapman University and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena could eliminate the leg work – and catapult fire-risk assessment into the 21st century.”
“Homeowners associations, with their large common areas, are a big draw on water supplies. Recognizing that, the county’s water wholesaler and individual water districts offer programs designed to help associations and their residents reduce outdoor water use.”