After a strong but isolated deluge caused flooding in Boyle Heights on Oct. 19, 2015, Councilmember Huizar issued a motion asking for a full report on El Niño storm preparations from City staff to assist his constituents in Council District 14 and the entire City.
The flooding, which was caused by debris including a mattress that clogged catch basins, gave Councilmember Huizar and other councilmembers cause for concern that the larger storms expected to hit Los Angeles in the coming months due to a severe El Niño storm system could cause widespread damage.
One of the recommendations in Councilmember Huizar’s motion to help reduce flooding that City staff has since implemented requires Bureau of Sanitation and Bureau of Streets Services to coordinate street sweeping, where debris can build up, with catch basin and storm drain cleanups that are ongoing during El Niño.
Councilmember issued a second motion Tuesday, asking for a report back on the City’s 311 system and its role during in what is expected to be the region’s largest El Niño storm system on record. Currently, there are no 311 operators during nighttime hours and the 311 automated system has no option for flooding or mudslide issues due to rain.
The Bureau of Sanitation have operators working 24/7 to deal with El Niño events. They can be reached at 1-800-773-2489. At the very least, Councilmember Huizar wants to hear a report back on the feasibility of staffing 311 nighttime operators during El Niño and at the very least, allow the 311 system to be able to connect callers during nighttime hours to Sanitation.
The public’s help is also sought during El Niño to report bulky items to 311 or their local council offices as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of storm drain blockage.