July 31, 2008

County to Begin $2.4 Million Sierra Madre Mudflow Project

SIERRA MADRE - County officials have authorized the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works to step in and begin a $2.4 million project dedicated to the emergency construction of mudflow protection measures in Sierra Madre.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved the department's plans to enlarge the Sturtevant Debris Basin and its debris dam and to install three rail and timber structures at various locations in Sierra Madre to protect against mudflow. The city is also finalizing paperwork for a $140,000 grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to put up additional barriers.

April's 584-acre Santa Anita Fire left burned debris on the hills above Sierra Madre, increasing the potential for mudslides when the storm season begins on October 15. "Sediment production increases dramatically when a watershed burns, and a moderate storm could deliver tens of thousands of cubic yards of sediment to resources at various locations in the City of Sierra Madre," stated a report to the Board of Supervisors from Dean Efstathiou, the county's Acting Director of Public Works.

A May 22 mudslide cost Sierra Madre approximately $50,000, but officials estimate that 95 percent of the burned debris is still on the hillside and will come down during future rain storms.

(c) 2008 San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.