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Calabasas | Valley Focus

City Is Preparing for Winter Storm Season

September 18, 1997|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Heeding predictions of record-breaking storms this winter, the city is taking steps to make ready streets and public areas and advising residents to do the same.

Although Calabasas did not have the flooding and landslides that affected its neighbors in Topanga Canyon and Agoura Hills in the 1995 storms, city officials are preparing for the worst.

"You never know what could happen," said James Tong, the city's project technician. "It depends on how catastrophic the storm is. It could flood the whole city with the topography here. We're surrounded by mountains."

Calabasas has contracted with Los Angeles County to check storm drains, culverts and streets to ensure they are sufficiently clean to handle a downpour, he said.

In early 1995, the city had approximately $250,000 in storm damage, far less than the $3.5-million damage the area experienced in February 1993 when it "just basically had to rebuild," Tong said.

The most significant damage in the city had been to Mulholland Highway, which had to be closed temporarily after heavy rains to clear the debris off the road.

To prepare for the rains, city officials advise residents to clean their drains of brush and debris so that water flows freely and clear out all yard drains and house gutters of debris and leaves.

Once the rains start, the city will make available to residents sandbags and sand at fire stations at Las Virgenes, Mureau and Calabasas roads and Parkway Calabasas.

"We're trying to notify the public that they can be taking some preventive measures themselves," said Marilynn Dipaola, department of public works secretary. "They can do their part."

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