Garcetti calls for state of emergency amid concerns that flooding could damage DWP facilities
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed a state of emergency for the city Monday over the potential for water damage to Department of Water and Power-owned infrastructure from melting snowpack in the eastern Sierra Nevada.
The proclamation, which must be ratified by the City Council, would allow the DWP to speed up its contracting process to respond to possible flooding near Owens Lake and surrounding areas. The city has invested more than $1 billion in dust-mitigation infrastructure at the lake.
The order also allows Los Angeles to request state funds to deal with flooding.
Speaking at a City Hall news conference, Garcetti said the proclamation is intended to protect DWP-owned infrastructure in Mono, Inyo, Kern and Los Angeles counties. He said the potential for damage because of flooding is “very, very high.”
Garcetti also said that the city doesn’t “want lives to be upended, families hurt, jobs lost because we waited too long and didn’t take action.”
With the order, the utility can begin issuing contracts to do construction around the lake and prepare for overflow.