A Look Back by Jose Mier on Our Town’s Weak Points
We just had an earthquake in Sun Valley and not too long ago we had to deal with the La Tuna fire as it crept over the Verdugos toward the northeastern edge of our city. We’re in the midst of a drought not to mention we’re staying at home or are out of work thanks to this global pandemic. What could be next?
Well, if it’s Sun Valley, the next big rain could bring more flooding. We’re especially vulnerable since a good portion of Sun Valley is either in or borders on the Verdugo Mountains. Once a significant rain begins, the water only flows in one direction: downhill. That means Sun Valley will be right in the path of these floodwaters.
Only a year ago we endured a series of heavy rains that played havoc on our streets including even Interstate 5 as it makes its way through Sun Valley. Areas in the north like the homes around Tujunga Blvd are prime targets for flash floods and have traditionally seen swift moving flows pass through. At one point they caused a sinkhole that contributed to the death of one person.
Our geography and topography mean that we’re going to face the possibility of floods every rainy season. Residents in the harder hit areas have complained for years about the situation but their complaints have largely fallen on deaf ears and they continue to shovel out once the waters recede each time.
It will remain to be seen if the Interstate 5 construction currently taking place in and around Sun Valley will include better drainage. It should since our stretch of the 5 seems to be ever prone to floods especially around the Buena Vista St. exit and earlier on the northbound lanes. Floodwaters in this area create a nightmare for rush hour commuters as the waters restrict the number of drivable lanes during a rainstorm.
Will we see more heavy rains this winter season? 2020’s winter was relatively mild and rains were mostly spaced out but my money is on heavy rains since it would be just like Mother Nature to dump one more burden on our community even as we try to negotiate our way through this pandemic. Let’s hope I’m wrong.