LOS ANGELES – Mayor Karen Bass, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore and other City leaders this morning provided an update on preparations for the coming storm and also encouraged Angelenos to stay safe and to stay informed. The press conference comes the morning after Mayor Bass signed a local emergency declaration and occurred at the City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center, which recently transitioned to a Level 2 Activation. Watch the press conference here.
Read the Mayor’s remarks below:
Thank you all for being here this morning. Over the past few days, the City family has been working around the clock to prepare for the storm and we are just beginning to see it hit Los Angeles. Our message today is clear. Stay safe, stay home and stay informed. This is an unprecedented weather event but Los Angeles has deep experience responding to crisis. Whether it be wildfire or earthquakes, the City is prepared. A lot of work has already been done to prepare and there are a few critical areas of focus.
Our primary mission, of course, is to protect the life and property of Angelenos. Second, we need to keep our City workers safe. Third, we must ensure that City services are operating as best as possible given the circumstances. Last night Chief Crowley, who is the incident commander, activated the Emergency Operations Center to level two.
It was very important that we started in-person preparation last night, so that this morning we were already in action. Last night I also signed a declaration of local emergency to immediately activate the Emergency Operations Organization and waive any regulation that may inhibit the saving of lives here in Los Angeles. I want to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris as well as Governor Newsom for their support and preparation and their pledges to support with recovery as needed. Right now, again, it is critical that Angelenos stay safe and stay home unless otherwise directed by safety officials. Avoid unnecessary travel. If you do not need to be on the road, please don’t get in your car. Make sure your emergency kit and essential devices are on hand and ensure that all of your devices are charged. In the event of life threatening emergency, Angelenos should call 911.
For impacts like roadway flooding, tree limbs blocking roads, or mudslides, Angelenos should request service online or by calling 311. In the event of power outages or our water main breakage, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers can call 1800-DIAL-DWP. If you see downed power lines or wires, please do not approach them. The water surrounding the wires could cause serious damage, serious injury or death. Just to reiterate one last time, stay safe, stay home and stay informed. A brief message from our Superintendent of L.A. Unified School District’s Alberto Carvalho: an assessment will be made later today as to whether schools will be opened or closed tomorrow. Like I said on Friday, our emergency departments are unparalleled. So when an unprecedented disaster hits, please Angelenos, know that we are ready. Thank you and I now want to turn this over to our Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Chief Crowley.
LOS ANGELES – Continuing extensive preparations, Mayor Karen Bass this evening signed a local emergency declaration in response to the coming storm. Earlier today, the City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center transitioned to a Level 2 Activation. Read the full text of the emergency declaration here or below:
DECLARATION OF LOCAL EMERGENCY
By virtue of the authority vested in me, as Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, pursuant to the provisions of Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 8.27, I hereby find that:
WHEREAS, On August 18, 2023, a tropical storm intensified into a Category 4 hurricane known as Hurricane Hilary off the southwestern coast of Mexico, with 145 mph sustained winds and stronger gusts as it approached Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula through August 19, 2023; and
WHEREAS, On August 18, 2023, the National Weather Service issued an unprecedented Tropical Storm Warning for the Southern California Region, including all of Los Angeles County; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service issued an advisory that now Tropical Storm Hilary will potentially bring heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong winds and hazardous seas to the Southern California region, including Los Angeles County; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service issued a series of Flood Watches on August 18, 2023, warning of potential significant flooding between August19, 2023, and August 22, 2023, in the Southern California region, including Los Angeles County; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service issued a series of Flash Flood Warnings on August 18, 2023, for several Southern California counties; and
WHEREAS, threats of lightning and significant wind impacts with gusts up to or exceeding 70 miles per hour are anticipated in mountainous areas throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, and are likely to exacerbate fire conditions; and
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has warned that Tropical Storm Hilary may bring the potential for isolated tornadoes across portions of Southern California; and
WHEREAS, on August 19, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for much of Southern California, including Los Angeles County, to support Tropical Storm Hilary response and recovery efforts as the state continues mobilizing and coordinating resources ahead of the storm’s forecasted impacts; and
WHEREAS, as early as August 20, 2023, the City of Los Angeles is predicted to experience significant impacts as a result of high winds and heavy rain brought on by the impacts of this tropical storm system; and
WHEREAS, Tropical Storm Hilary is predicted to cause extreme conditions such as power outages, damage to power poles, fallen trees, slope failures, numerous locations with substantial mud and debris flows and flooding, and red and yellow tagged structures; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles is predicted to experience multiple road closures and related water damage, impacting significant transportation arteries requiring long-term repairs and threatening the integrity of the City’s infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to prompt widespread evacuations and shelter-in-place orders; to threaten, damage, or destroy homes and critical infrastructure, including power and water lines, businesses, and roads; and to necessitate the deployment of search and rescue teams; and
WHEREAS, based upon the above events, and the need to put City resources and personnel in place prior to the arrival of the storm to protect the health and safety of the City’s residents, there exists the potential that said incidents are likely to become beyond the control of the normal services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the regularly constituted branches and departments of the City Government:
NOW, THEREFORE, I HEREBY DECLARE the existence of a Local Emergency throughout the City of Los Angeles.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Emergency Operations Organization (EOO) be immediately activated to take such steps that are necessary for the protection of life and property.
I FURTHER ORDER that all City Departments impacted by this event, and its ongoing effects, continue to conduct damage assessments and collect cost estimates for the purpose of seeking State and Federal disaster assistance.
I FURTHER ORDER that widespread publicity and notice be given of such Declaration through the most feasible and adequate means of disseminating such notice throughout the City.
I HEREBY REQUEST that the Governor waive regulations that may hinder response and recovery efforts; that recovery assistance be made available under the California Disaster Assistance Act; and that the State expedite access to State and Federal resources and any other appropriate Federal; disaster relief programs.