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California   The Eastern Sierras

Los Angeles mayor declares emergency, snowpack 241% above normal

Los Angeles AqueductMayor Eric Garcetti has declared a local state of emergency to protect the lands and communities near the Los Angeles Aqueduct from flooding, as this year’s historic Eastern Sierra snowpack begins to melt into the Owens Valley.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and once spring sets in, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

READ MORE Turkish parliament to extend state of emergency following referendum

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water Angelenos use in a year — will likely threaten local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake with destructive flooding.

Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration will trigger City rules that enable LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat, and begin the process of requesting assistance from the state and federal governments.

Tjis Emergency Proclamation will help LADWP respond to the immediate threat of flooding in the Owens Valley by triggering special City rules that enable the utility to contract for the goods and services it needs more quickly.

Since it is intended to last longer than seven days, the declaration requires approval by the City Council.




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