(L to R: As the storm approaches, Mayor Karen Bass, Council President Paul Krekorian, Governor Gavin Newsom, Fire Chief Kristin Crowley and Emergency Management Director Carol Parks confer at the Emergency Operations Center. )
When the National Hurricane Center issued its first-ever tropical storm watch for Southern California, the City of Los Angeles took immediate measures to prepare. On Sunday, August 20, 2023, Los Angeles received nearly three inches of rain, 100 times more than the previous record for the day, the most rain received in Los Angeles in August since the City started keeping records in 1877.
On a typical day, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responds to more than 1,300 emergency calls. During the storm, LAFD responded to more than a thousand additional calls, but reported no serious injuries. Most Angelenos wisely stayed off the road, and unlike any other night of the year, LAPD recorded zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries.
By Tuesday morning, the City recorded 1,661 tree-related issues (trees or large branches fallen on the roadway), 48 problem mudflows, and 86 new potholes. More than 6,000 homes lost electricity during or immediately after the storm, but in most cases LADWP had restored power within hours, and repairs to other damage are well underway.
In the middle of the record-breaking rainfall brought by a Pacific hurricane, Southern California was hit with a 5.1 earthquake, centered near Ojai. Los Angeles, police, fire, sanitation and utilities rose to the challenge without blinking.
As Council President Krekorian told the press gathered at the City’s Emergency Operations Center, “For most cities, a tropical storm combined with an earthquake would be a catastrophic event. For Los Angeles and our first responders, it’s just another day at the office.”