LOS ANGELES–The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District awarded a $1.3 million contract to JF Engineering of Pomona, California, Jan. 9 to install roughly 3 miles of temporary protective barriers to increase bank height along the most vulnerable reaches of the LA River that will restore channel capacity and reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.
The Corps conducted a review of existing conditions of the flood risk management systems it oversees. In total, 11 dams, one debris basin and more than 50 miles of channel within the Southern California region were evaluated for this storm season.
The review resulted in interim risk reduction measures to establish a consistent flow rate, or conveyance capacity, along Corps operated and maintained reaches of the Los Angeles River. The Corps has identified measures for channelized areas along the Los Angeles River from approximately Griffith Park to Elysian Valley, including the Glendale Narrows area, which pose the greatest risk of flooding to adjacent communities during large storm events. A combination of factors, including design capacity and the presence of vegetation growth and sediment accumulation, contributes to reduced water flow in these areas.
The Los Angeles District commander, Col. Kirk Gibbs, declared an emergency Jan. 6 to obtain emergency funding to initiate interim risk reduction measures on the LA River. Under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, the Corps provides disaster preparedness and response services and advanced planning measures designed to reduce the potential for damage caused by an impending disaster.
"The flood fighting has just begun for this winter," said Gibbs. "In addition to the work we are currently undertaking, the protective barriers will reduce flood risk with minimal impacts to the public and our river partners."
Work is anticipated to begin the week of Jan. 11 and be completed within a month.
Implementation of additional measures rely on funds available to conduct the work, but severe weather conditions throughout the country have damaged other Corps structures and facilities, requiring Corps operations and maintenance funds to be used elsewhere for repair efforts. The Corps is evaluating potential funding sources.
In addition to the interim risk reduction measures, the Corps has implemented monitoring and notification systems that will be in place throughout the storm season and is prepared to undertake flood fighting activities should the need arise.
For more information on Corps activities related to El Nino, please visit http://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyManagement/ElNino.aspx.