Mayor Eric Garcetti traveled to the Owens Valley [Monday, May 8, 2017] to survey the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) emergency flood control preparations for what the utility expects will be a record snowmelt from the Eastern Sierras.
The trip comes after Mayor Garcetti declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities of the Owens Valley from flooding, as this year’s snowpack begins to melt.
“I declared this State of Emergency because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are acting as quickly and diligently as we can to address this potential threat, and I’m pleased by the progress we’re making.”
During his visit, the Mayor spoke with community members, met with LADWP workers involved in the flood control efforts, and toured key areas — including Mono Lake and Owens Lake — where the snowmelt is threatening communities and LADWP infrastructure.
This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and as spring goes on, LADWP expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.
This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water that Angelenos use in a year — could damage local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration enables LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat.
Photos from Mayor Garcetti’s Owens Valley visit are available at www.lamayor.org/photos.