Antonovich Creates Flood, Mudslide Protection Agency
UPDATED: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2:54 p.m.
To inform residents in fire-damaged areas on the County's efforts to reduce the impact of mudslides and erosion damage, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has created a multi-agency program (C.A.R.E.) and a toll free number (800-214-4020) to protect life and property in the upcoming rainy months.
A website has also been established at www.dpwcare.org for easy access to online information.
The CARE (Coordinated Agency Recovery Effort) program will include regular updates and bulletins, technical assistance for residents on constructing mudslide diversions, a "one-stop" website with fire recovery and storm preparation information, public service announcements, and a speaker's bureau for community meetings.
The first meeting of CARE was on Friday, when more than 120 city and town council members and city managers from at-risk communities joined officials from the county and federal government including county Public Works , the US Forest Service, the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO), the US Geological Survey, Caltrans and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Preliminary fire damage assessments were presented by the federal burn area emergency recovery (BAER) team.
"Initial assessments indicate a high probability of mudslides damage for our fire-damaged communities," Antonovich said. "The danger presented by the largest fire in County history is far from over and requires effective coordination and communication to minimize the impact of mudslides and protect our residents and their homes."
A September 8 motion by Supervisor Antonovich authorized the County Public Works Department to spend up to $25 million in emergency contracts to repair roads and infrastructure in burn areas and to prepare for expected debris and mudflows.
Public Works engineers have already inspected over 200 properties and, together with USFS officials, hosted several public meetings in at-risk communities.
"The County Public Works Department has completed many of the physical repairs to County roads, including the replacement of more than 850 road signs, 4,500 road markers, and 27 miles of re-striping, and is working to install 95 sections of guardrail," Antonovich said. "The Department is also looking to increase capacity at seven of the twenty-nine debris basins in the Station Fire burn area and is cleaning out an additional nine basins below the burned watersheds of the Station Fire before the rains come."