County authorities came to the rescue
Local news viewers may focus on the San Clemente pool that’s in danger of sliding down a rain-soaked hill, but the current wave of storms have caused problems locally, as well.
“It’s not just Orange County,” said Baldwin Hills resident Rudy Van Dyke.
Last Tuesday, Van Dyke and his neighbors woke up to see the hill below their homes, which slopes down to LaBrea Avenue, had sustained some sliding. So much so that two cars were trapped by the mudslide on the street below.
They noticed officials and trucks cleaning up the mess on LaBrea Avenue, but no one had contacted them yet about where the mud came from — just below their properties.
They first contacted the city engineering and geology departments, but then realized it was county land that was slipping away, just below their home property lines.
“Then the county came out,” Van Dyke said. In addition to the engineering and geology department, the parks and recreation department showed up. “Supervisor Holly Mitchell called and she talked to my neighbor, too. Agencies started calling us and coming by with teams. A lot of support came popping up. It’s good.”
The county tarped the land to prevent further soaking of the property and added bales of straw to divert and soak up the rain. Straw wattles, tubes of rice straw manufactured for use in the control and prevention of erosion, storm water runoff and sediment control, were placed to stabilize the area. They told residents that the damage was superficial and only the top layer of soil had washed away in the mudslide.
“It’s not a landslide — like you’re going to lose your property,” Van Dyke said. “They’re saying if we can just get past this and bring in some more vegetation...”
He said the conditions were not too bad so far, but the winds are battering those tarps and additional storms are on their way.
“So far, so good,” Van Dyke concluded. “I’m really pleased they showed up. We’re looking forward to their continued support. But it’s, you know, what’s next? We just have to weather the storm.”