Preparation is Key as Rainstorm and High Tides Expected in Southland

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A cold rainstorm with fog and wind gusts is forecast to move through Southern California beginning Wednesday morning through Thursday evening. The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting high tides with rip currents for local beaches, as well as along the West Coast. The highest tide of the season is expected to reach 7.3 feet on Thursday morning in Long Beach; a level that hasn’t been reached since 2008.

These so-called “king tides” occur when the earth, moon, and sun align, maximizing the gravitational forces that produce tides.

The City of Long Beach is encouraging residents near the coastline to prepare for possible flooding, and will open its Emergency Operations Center to monitor rain and tide activity. City crews have conducted inspections and maintenance work to ensure that catch basins in known flooding areas have been cleaned and all pump stations are functioning.

People should avoid swimming in the ocean and bays during and within 72 hours of a storm, and should always avoid swimming in areas where there might be rip currents. Obey all lifeguard instructions and posted signs at beaches.

Below are some helpful hints and reminders to assist you in preparing for a flood or any emergency:

Prior to any Emergency:

  • Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit.
  • Prepare an Evacuation Plan.
  • Prepare a Communications Plan.
  • Resources are available at http://www.ready.gov/ to assist you with these steps.
  • Register to receive emergency information from the City of Long Beach:
  1. For those without traditional landline telephone service (Verizon), register your cell phone or internet based phone service with the city’s Reverse 911 System at www.longbeach.gov/R911/
  2. Register your cell phone and email address for text messages and emails regarding emergency information with the Long Beach Police Department’s Nixle System at http://www.nixle.com/.
  3. Preset KKJZ 88.1 FM on vehicle and home radios. Long Beach specific emergency information will be broadcast on KKJZ 88.1 FM.

Prior to a Flood:

Prepare your home or business

  • Move important items to higher ground, or at least elevate items off of the ground.
  • Use sandbags to barricade or divert the impending water.
  • Know how to shut off your utilities (gas, water, electric).
  • Do not shut off your electrical service while you are standing in pooled waters.

During a Flood:

  • Listen to the radio for emergency information.
  • Turn off utilities if rising water is inside a structure. Do not shut off your electrical service while you are standing in pooled waters.
  • Be aware that floodwaters may carry raw sewage, chemical waste, and other disease-spreading substances. Wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.
  • Be aware of fallen power lines.
  • If in “doubt” evacuate the area.

After a Flood:

  • Check for structural damage.
  • Any significant shifting, sagging, leaning, or cracking of walls or ceiling… stay out.
  • Do not enter the home until a professional has checked it.
  • Do not use open flames (candles, matches, etc.) until you can verify that there are no gas leaks.
  • If you hear a hissing noise or smell gas leave the structure immediately, make sure the gas is off, and call 911.
  • Check for sewage and water line damage.
  • If you suspect damage, avoid using the tap and toilets and call a plumber.
  • Throw away any food that has come in contact with the floodwaters.
  • Check on your neighbors and offer assistance.

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