LA CANADA (CBSLA.com) —A leading scientist revealed strong evidence that California may receive twice its regular rainfall this winter, which has prompted many residents living in the foothills to begin preparations.
In 2010, countless homes in La Canada were impacted after storms sent mud flowing through the area.
With this memory fresh in mind, residents were weary to hear the latest El Niño predictions, which were presented in a conference in Van Nuys Wednesday.
“If you can imagine a home with three-to-four feet of mud in every room, and many things missing, including a whole garage and your car, that’s kind of what it was like,” La Canada resident Pat Anderson said. “(There was) certainly more mud and water than I’ve seen in my whole life.”
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist William Patzert met with lawmakers and water agencies to help make these preparations for what he says could be the strongest El Niño since the 1998 storm that claimed the lives of 17 people.
“This El Niño is too big to fail, it’s the real deal, and it will probably double our rainfall this coming winter,” Patzert said. “It’s time to get prepared.”
Patzert’s prediction, if proven accurate, could result in nearly 30 inches of rain. That’s enough to have residents clearing gutters and drains.
While sandbags and shovels are fixtures in areas like La Canada, what the neighborhood really needs is K-rails. 25 feet underneath the pavement, which was buried underneath mud just five years ago, is a massive seven-and-a-half foot pipe, designed so water flows underneath homes and out into a canyon.
“All of us neighbors agreed to move the K-rails, and so with the K-rails gone, El Niño is coming and we’re preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best,” one resident said.