Atmospheric river drenches Leisure World
Series of storms caused flooding, street closures
by Ruth Osborn
Aseries of storms starting Feb. 1 has pummeled the Southern California region and brought record-breaking rainfall. On Sunday, more than 4 inches of rain was recorded in Los Angeles County, according to the National Weather Service, the third wettest February Day since 1877.
In October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that a strong El Niño would affect the weather in Southern California weather through the spring. That prediction came true Feb. 1 when the first fierce storm blew through, and the weekend brought more torrential rainfall. Unstable
Cars struggle through the flooded intersection of St. Andrews Drive and Golden Rain Road on Feb. 1, the result of the day's 2.76 inches of rainfall.
A service vehicle parks in the flooded Nassau Drive near the 1.8-Acre site in the aftermath of the Feb. 1 deluge.
Ronald Hargrove weather is now predicted through the end of February.
El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation pattern, is a major driver of temperature and precipitation patterns across the globe.
As of press time Monday, the region remained in the bull’s eye of unrelenting rainfall, which was expected to last through Tuesday. Seal Beach police sent warnings alerting people of potential hazards that included flooding, downed trees and closed roads.
On Feb. 1, the first atmospheric river slammed into the region. In Leisure World, there was flooding, a power outage and a downed tree in Mutual 8.
A transformer blew in the Administration parking lot, cutting power to parts of Leisure World, including GRF offices and amenities, around 10 a.m. Once the lights went out, the Optum Health Care Center closed. Security deployed personnel to help direct traffic at the flooded intersection of Golden Rain Road and St. Andrews Drive when the signal went out.
Edison had power restored within the hour despite the torrential downpour.
Meanwhile, GRF Service Maintenance crews were everywhere tarping leaky roofs and windows, clearing clogged drains and securing downed trees.
Nassau Road flooded as catch basins clogged with storm debris, leaves and excavated earth from the 1.8-acre site. The dirt was tarped but the ferocity of the storm washed some down the street. Eight Service Maintenance workers quickly responded, working in kneehigh water to clear drains and get water moving off the street.
The drainage ditch—officially called the Federal Channel—that runs through LW, came within a couple feet of the overflow mark.
Federal Channel last overflowed Jan. 4, 1995, during a 100-year storm. Golden Rain Road was submerged under three feet of water, displacing more than 300 residents. Fire and rescue used inflatable boats to ferry people to an impromptu shelter set up in Clubhouse 3. About 200 homes were declared uninhabitable.
Since that storm, flood control improvements, including expanded pumping stations and drainage basins, have been implemented, diminishing the potential for catastrophic flooding.
In any storm, residents can safeguard themselves and their property by removing patio umbrellas and other decorations that may become airborne and cause damage. Also, skylights and windows should be closed. Vehicles should be parked in carports.
Residents can report fallen trees or branches and other storm-related issues to GRF Security by calling 562-594-4754.
IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1. For current information, visit the National Weather Service or Weather.gov.
The Turtle Lake Golf Course reached new levels of difficulty as newlyformed water hazards flooded the greens.
Service Maintenance personnel work to cover up windows on the News Office to prevent leaks.