Red Alert Level Continues; 202 Homes Under Mandatory Evacuation Orders; Evacuation Site Open at Community Center; Street Closures in Place; 1 inch of Rain Expected Per Hour after 2:00 pm; Trash Service Delayed until Monday, February 20th
DUARTE, CA - At 5 pm, the National Weather Service (NWS) declared a Flash Flood Warning for the Fish Fire Burn Area until 8 pm as the City continues to brace for what the NWS is calling an “atmospheric river event” that will be impacting the City of Duarte and the Fish Fire Impact Area today and tomorrow, February 17th and 18th generating up to an inch an hour in rain including wind gusts of up to 70 MPH. The City remains at Red Alert Level in the Fish Fire Impact area since 7 am on the 17th placing approximately 202 homes under mandatory evacuation. Los Angeles County Public Works issued a Phase 2 Flow Forecast for this storm anticipating that heavy downpours and wind could cause mud and debris flows even more extensive than January’s flows on Melcanyon Rd. and adjacent streets which resulted in over 2800 cubic yards of mud. Valley View School will be closed for school Friday, February 17th. Additionally, Burrtec will not be servicing the Fish Fire Impact Area on Friday, February 17th, instead trash will be collected on Monday, February 20th starting at 7 am. Thus, do not put trash cans on the street until Monday before 7 am.
Residents were alerted door to door, this morning by Los Angeles County Sheriff regarding mandatory evacuation orders. Those who chose to stay were required to sign notifications. An additional 22 homes below the Maddock Debris basin were also requested to evacuate as well. Yesterday, Volunteers on Patrol and CERT Team members also went door to door encouraging voluntary evacuations starting last night. Displaced residents are encouraged to access the Duarte Community Center Evacuation Site located at 1600 Huntington Drive. The site will remain open until mandatory orders are lifted and can accommodate up to 40 persons overnight. Evacuated residents are encouraged to bring medicines and any other items they may need for a minimum 48-hour period. Meals will be provided to all evacuees and LA County Animal Control has their mobile shelter on site for those that need to bring animals.
Although the timing could fluctuate, the heaviest rainfall is expected between 2 and approximately 10 pm today generating between 5 to 10 inches in total rain. In preparation for this event, City phones are open 24 hours a day through Saturday evening. Public Safety (626-357-7938) on Friday from 7:30-4PM and City Hall from 4PM-7:30 AM (626-357-7931). On Saturday, call Public Safety from 7:30-4PM. Additionally, the City’s Emergency Operation Center is in full activation, and City staff are deployed within the Fish Fire Impact Area to address situations as they arise.
Street closures staffed by Public Safety personnel are at the following areas: Royal Oaks and Greenbank, Bettyhill and Conata, Sunnyvale and Westvale, Royal Oaks and Mel Canyon, eastbound Fish Canyon at Mel Canyon, westbound Fish Canyon at Mel Canyon, Mountaincrest and Deerlane, and Brookridge and Tannencrest, and Sunnydale Drive and Westvale Road. Please note, residents under mandatory evacuation orders will not be allowed back into their homes until the orders are officially lifted by Duarte Public Safety officials. Residents that refuse to evacuate must be prepared to shelter in place until evacuation orders are lifted. There will be no re-entry into evacuation area.
The City’s Public Works Department, LA County Fire and contractor, Sully Miller are standing by with skiploaders staged nearby should clean up efforts be required on Melcanyon Rd. and adjoining streets. The major clean up effort most likely will begin Sunday, February 19th at 7:00 am. LA County Public Works cleaned Maddock debris basin at the top of Las Lomas in advance of this event to accommodate anticipated mudflow.
Filled sandbags primarily for residents in the Fish Fire Impact area are available at the corner of Mountaincrest and Brookridge Road. Unfilled sandbags and sand are also available at the Los Angeles County Fire Department station 44, located at 1105 Highland Avenue in the rear area 24/7. Residents are advised to be prepared with the proper equipment to fill and transport filled sandbags to their respective private property.
For up to date information, the City of Duarte strongly encourages all residents to sign up for Duarte Nixle alerts via email or text. Residents may sign up at http://local.nixle.com/city-of-duarte/. The City of Duarte will also use Twitter @CityofDuarte to push out emergency related information and have created an entire Fish Fire information section under the Resident tab on www.accessduarte.com.
Red Level Alert triggers the following events:
Mandatory evacuation order in effect. All residents ordered to leave the impacted and/or potentially impacted areas.
Residents directed to remove vehicles, trash bins, and other obstructions from the streets and/or travel lanes prior to evacuating, as they will be subject to tow or removal by authorities.
Residents will be directed to an Evacuation Center at the Duarte City Hall Community Center located at 1600 Huntington Drive, Duarte CA 91010
Residents electing not to evacuate will be required to sign a Refusal to Evacuate Form, acknowledging their awareness of the hazards/risks and assuming all liability for the decision to remain and shelter in place. If you leave the area, you will not be allowed to return.
Entry into the area shall be prohibited to all persons except public safety, first responders.
Residents will not be allowed to return to their homes so long as the “Red Level” protocol remains in effect.
If you feel conditions are unsafe to evacuate, move to the highest safe place in your residence and shelter in place.
About the City of Duarte
The City of Duarte was incorporated on August 22, 1957. With integrity and transparency, the City provides exemplary public services in a caring and fiscally responsible manner with a commitment to our community’s future. For more information visit www.accessduarte.com or call (626) 357-7931. Follow the City of Duarte on Facebook at facebook.com/duartecommunity; Twitter @CityofDuarte; Instagram @city_of_duarte and LinkedIn.