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What we can learn from the February 1992 floods in Ventura County, California

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Title:
What we can learn from the February 1992 floods in Ventura County, California
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Physical Description:
16, 3 p. : maps ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Gruntfest, Eve
Taft, Vanessa
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Floods -- California -- Ventura County   ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 16).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library’s disaster mental health initiative.
Statement of Responsibility:
Eve Gruntfest and Vanessa Taft.
General Note:
Includes separately-paged appendix with flood chronology.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001985100
oclc - 26996167
usfldc doi - F57-00024
usfldc handle - f57.24
System ID:
SFS0001105:00001


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What we can learn from the February 1992 floods in Ventura County, California /
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1992.
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WHATfROM't\EFe:.eRUAJ(::YFLOQhs{}JV.I\lTUR'A C. ALIFe)'!;;:I\llAt:ve: G R..UlJ'TFSTVANE.SSATAI="TUn/,-/e.rsity of 0+.BE havioro( Sc\eneeJt-Jo.tLlra.lHa'l.a..rds"Re5aea..rchandApplic.o.l(ons.i2)n CeY\ -ler QVlck'Response1
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WHAT WE CANLEARN FROMTHEFEBRUARY1992FLOODS INVENTURACOUNTY, CALIFORNIAByEveGruntfestandVanessaTaftDepartmentofGeographyandEnvironmentalStudiesUniversityofColorado-ColoradoSprings,COQUICKRESPONSERESEARCHREPORT #50 1992.e Natural Hazards This publicationIS Of,thformation Center's ongoing A P licatlons n &p esearch Report Senes. QUickRespon,se edu/haz ards http://VNNI.co ora .TheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorsandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.

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WHATWECANLEARNFROMTHEFEBRUARY1992FLOODS IN VENTURACOUNTY,CALIFORNIAEveGruntfestandVanessaTaftDepartmentofGeographyandEnvironmentalstudiesUniversityofColoradoColoradoSprings,COA"QuickResponse"ReporttotheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenteruniversityofColoradoBoulder,COMay29,1992

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WHATWECANLEARNFROMTHEFEBRUARY1992FLOODSINVENTURACOUNTY,CALIFORNIAIntroductionBetweenFebruary10-14,1992seriousfloodingoccurredinventuraCounty,California.AspartofthequickresponseprogramsponsoredbytheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterwetravelledtoVenturaCountytoassesstheeffectivenessofthewarningsystem.VenturaCountywasparticularlyinterestingbecausewehadconsideredita"successstory"inourNationalScienceFoundationstudyofflashfloodmitigationintheu.S.(GruntfestandHuber,1989,1991;Huber,1992).PaperOrganizationThepaperhastwoparts.First,weprovideadiscussionofthegeographicalcontext,theflooddetection/warningsysteminVenturaCounty,theperipheralusesoftheALERTsystem,andthecountyfloodhistory.TheothersectionconsistsofasummaryofourfindingsbasedontheFebruary,1992floods,commentsandcontroversialtopics,andrecommendations.AchronologyofthefloodeventsisprovidedasAppendixB.1.1GeographicContextVenturaCountyhasexperiencedrapidurbanization.In1987thepopulation-at-riskwasbetween150,000and200,000includingthecommunitiesofFillmore(11,000),SantaPaula(23,000)andOxnard(123,000).The1990censusindicatesthatthecounty'spopulationroseto669,000from26percentbetween1980and1990.

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1.2FloodHistoryVenturaCountyhaswitnessedmanyfloodevents.In196911peoplewerekilledatVenturaHarborandmorethan300boatsweredestroyed.The1969stormcausedgreatdamageinventura,OjaiandSantaPaula.Over22.77inchesofrainfellinVenturaduringthe1969rainyseason.Floodsalsooccurredin1938,1909,and1884.In1884PiruCreekdepositedsomuchsiltthatitcreatedthespotonwhichthetownofPirunowstands.LowellHardisonfromSespehomesteadsawhorses,steersandsheepbythehundredsfloatdowntheSantaClaraRiveranddrown(VenturaCountyStarFreePress,February13,1992:A-2).InthatstormVenturahad11daysofstraightrain.SantaPaulahadmorethan40inchesofrainthatseasonandOjaihadmorethan70inches.In1909floodwaterswashedoutmilesofrailroadtracksand17inchesofrainfellinthreedays.The1938floodoccurredinMarch.Mudrolledoffthehillbehindcityhallandcametorestwindowhighagainstthebuilding.TheVenturaRiverburstitsbanksflooding100homes.1.3TheFloodDetection/WarningSystemTheFillmorefloodofMarch,1978wastheinitialimpetusfordevelopingtheVenturaCountyfloodwarningsystem.A1980floodincreasedsupportforthesystem.A1985firedenudedportionsofthedrainagebasinandthesystemwasexpanded(Huber,1992:16).TheVenturaCountywarningsystemmonitorstheSantaClaraRiver,includingSespeCreek(1612squaremiles):CalleguasCreek,includingRevolonSlough(322squaremiles):andtheVenturaRiver2

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(112squaremiles).Thedetectionsystemwasinstalledoriginallyin1979atacostof$36,000.Sincethenadditionalfundsof$25,000havecornefromthecounty,$46,000fromtheu.s.Navy,$40,000fromcasitasMunicipalwaterDistrict,$26,000fromtheCaliforniaDepartmentofwaterResources,and$6,000fromtheNationalWeatherService.Thereare42precipitationstations,19streamgagesand3fullweatherstations.Thedataistransmittedbyradiooverthreehydrologicfrequencies.RadiorepeatersalsosendinformationtoLosAngelesCounty.Thegageshavespecificalarmcriteria.Astreamratioisdevelopedbasedontheratioofstreamcapacitytotheforecast.When".5"isreached,awatchchangestoanalert.A"1"indicatesovertoppingofthestream.Precipitationgagesaresettoalertifa10yearfrequencyisreached.Thecountyestimatesthateachgagecostsabout$500peryearformaintenance.Intheearlyyearsbearschewedthroughsomeofthecablesbutbearresistantantennamountswereinstalledtosolvetheproblem(Huber,1992:17).TheVenturaCountyFloodControlmitigationsystemconsistsoffiveelements:(1)Atechnicianassignedtokeepthesystemequipmentregularlymaintainedandcalibrated;(2)Aself-reportingrainandstreamgaugenetwork(ALERT)thatcollectsrainfallandwater-leveldataandtransmitthemtotheFloodWarningCenter;(3)LocalFloodWarningCentertoconvertthegaugedataintomodelsof17watersheds;(4)TheCalifornia-NevadaRiverForecastCenter,abranchoftheNationalWeatherServicewhichusesthesame3

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informationfromthelocalwarningcentertoforecastpeakdischarges,providinganecessaryredundancyforqualitycontrol;(5)Aweatherconsultanttoforecastamountofrainexpectedoverthenext24hoursalongwiththemaximum6hoursamountsforthedifferentwatersheds,includingthosenotmodeledonthewarningcenterscomputer.(TaylorandWeikel,1990)1.4PeripheralUsesoftheALERTsystemDuringthedrought,VCFCDwasabletouseitsALERTsystemtoitsadvantageforthefollowingpurposes:(1)todeterminetheburnindexforthecountyfiredepartment;(2)tocalculatetheevapotranspirationratetoassistinwisewatering,irrigationandconservationdecisions;(3)tohelpthecountyroaddepartmentpredictrockandlandslidesanddevelopsuitableroadmaintenanceplans;(4)tosatisfytheEPAweatherreportrequirementsforpesticideuses;(5)tofulfillEPArequirementsregardingwaterqualitymonitoring;and,(6)toprovidedailymaximumandminimumtemperaturesforbroadcastbylocalTVandradiostations.VCFCDpersonnelanticipatethatthenextmajorperipheraluseoftheALERTsystemwillbemonitoringandtreatinggeneralsourceurbanrunofftocomplywiththeCleanWaterAct(Huber,1992:79).TheVCFCDreceivesinformationandconvertsittohydrographicmodelsforvariousareasinthecounty.Withpredictionsofrainfallamounts,riverlevels,andtheirpeaks,theVCFCDcantakeactionbeforeandduringfloodevents.Inadditionfloodchannelsandleveesthroughoutthecountycarrytheexcesswatertotheocean.withsouthernCalifornia'sdryclimate,reservoirmanage-mentplaysalargepartincountywatersupplyandfloodcontrol.4

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VCFCDhasastrongrelationshipwiththeNationalWeatherService.ThedetectionsystemwastestedsuccessfullyonMarch1,1983withthelargestfloweverrecordedonCalleguasCreek.PointMuguhadtimetoclosefloodgates.Ranchersmovedtheirequipment.Somecropswerelost(Huber,1992,19-20).2.FindingsfromourReviewoftheFebruary1992FloodEvents2.1TheFloodPriortotheFebruary1992stormstheregionfacedaseriousdrought.Thelastsignificantrainfalloccurredin1986.IntheweeksbeforethefloodingofFebruary10-15anEI Nino wasforecastindicatingunusualweatherpatternsandthepotentialforheavyrain.Therainfallamountsvariedthroughoutthecounty(SeeFigures1-5).ForexampleintheTuesdayeventWoodlandHillsreceived2.78",venturareceived1.47"andPointMuguonly.57".Thestormdumpedrainatarateof.6inchperhourearlyFebruary12th,sendingapeakdischargeof58,700cfssurgingdowntheVenturaRiver.Figure4showstherelationshipbetweentherainfallandthefloodingontheVenturaRiver.TherecurrenceintervalofthefloodinginVenturaCountyinFebruary,1992rangedfromaone-and-a-halfyearfloodtoovera50yearflooddependingontheparticularpartofthecounty.Nationaltelevisioncoverageofthefloodingshowingdramatichelicopterrescuesofindividualstrappedinarecreationalvehicle(RV)park.MediacoverageoffloodinginLosAngelesearlythesameweek,includingunforgettablefootageofa15yearoldboybeing5

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washeddownstream,enhancedthedramaofthefloods.VenturaCountyFloodControlDistrict(VCFCD)personnelwenttoworkat2AMFebruary12th.At4AMthedistrict'sprivatemeteorologistalertedofficialsthatastormwaspoisedtodumpupto.68inchesperhouronVenturaCounty.KarenGuidioftheOfficeofEmergencyServiceswascalledintoworkat6AMTuesday.Sheimmediatelystartedcallingotheragencies,suchastheRedCross,theCaliforniaConservationCorps,CaliforniaHighwayPatrol,andAnimalControl.At8AManalarmalertedDistrictEngineerJohnWeikelthattheVenturaRiverwasflowingatarateof30,000cfsandrisingfast.At8:30AMhecalledVenturaBeachRVResortwithawarningofimpendingflooding.AlthoughWeikeldidnothavetheauthoritytoorderanevacuation,headvisedtheparkmanagertochecktheriverandconsiderevacuation.Themanagerlookedaroundbutdidnotthinkevacuationwaswarranted.Around9AMtheriverswampedthepark.Approximately12of54vehiclesregisteredwereunabletoevacuate.About20peoplewereairliftedbyhelicopterformthetopsofvehiclesintheparkand10fromalongtheriverbottom.At10:01theRiverpeaked.2.2CommentsandControversialIssuesDuringfloodeventsonepersoncannoteffectivelymanageallthedatafortheentirecountyThesystemtoolargeandcomplex.IfthereweretwoengineersonhandTuesdaymorningonepersoncouldhavebeenwatchingtheCalleguasCreeksituationwherealeveehadbeenbreachedbythefloodwaters.Theotherpersoncould6

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havebeenmonitoringtheVenturaRiverandotherplacesinthecounty.Yearsofdroughtreducetheaccuracyofthefloodmodelswhichserveasthebasisforthedetectionsystem.Inthisinstancethepeaktimespredictedbythemodelswereaccurate.However,theexpectedfloodlevelswerewellbelowwhatactuallyoccurred.ThesuccessoftheALERTsystemdependsoncommittedtrainedpersonnel.TheALERTsysteminVenturaCountydependsonthreepeople.Thetechnicalpersontravelledthroughdangerousterrainduringtheheightofthestormtoreplaceabatteryononeofthetransmitters.Ifhehadnotbeenasfamiliarwiththeroadsandhadnotbeenabletogetthrough,thesystemwouldhavebeentotallyuselessduringtheflooding.Thecooperationandcommunicationbetweentheagenciesandindividualsconcernedwassuperb,especiallyconsideringthelimitationsofthetechnicalsupportsystem.ThesuccessoftheVCFCDdetectionsystemdependsonthreeveryunusuallydedicatedindividuals.IftheRVparkwasnotallowedinthefloodwaytheflood'simpactswouldhavebeenminor.Landusedecisionsaremostimportantintermsoflongtermminimizationoflossesfromfloods.ThecountyopposedthelocationoftheRVparkatthemouthoftheVenturaRiverbecauseofthefloodthreat.TheCountyfinallyagreedtoallowtheRVParkwhenVenturaCityCouncilrequiredtheRVparkownertodeclarehimselflegallyresponsibleforflooddamagetoresidents'vehicles,prohibitinganyvehiclesfromremainingintheparklongerthan30days,andinstallingaflood7

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warningsystemforthepark.InFebruary,1992severalvehicleshadbeenintheRVparkformorethantwoyears.Thereareunrealisticexpectationsforflashfloodwarnings.AneditorialintheLosAngelesTimescalledforimmediateimplementationofNEXRADandtheothertoolsofthemodernizedNationalWeatherServicesothatthepUblicwouldbeadequatelywarnedbeforethenextseriousflashfloods.EvenwithNEXRADthehighlylocalizednatureofthefloodingcombinedwiththeirintensityareunlikelytoprovideamuchlongerleadtime.ThepUblicat-riskmustbepreparedtotakeinitiativeduringaflashflood.Environmentalcues,suchasintenserainfallforanextendedperiodoftimeorrainfallwhenthegroundisalreadysaturated,shouldbeconsideredwarnings.Evenwhenevacuationorderswerenotfollowedresidentstookmitigationmeasures.InVenturaCountymanyresidentsarekeenlyawareofthefloodandlandslidepotential.MostresidentsofMatilijaCanyonrefusedtoevacuateduringtheFebruaryfloods.However,theydidpreparebystockinguponfoodandwaterandsandbaggingfloodproneareas.TheVCFCDhasastrongrapportwiththemediaprovidingfiguresandfloodpreparednessinformationthroughouttheweekoftheflooding(SeeFigure6).AfterfloodingonMondayFebruary10,1992mostnewspapershadlistsofwherethepUbliccouldgetfreesandbags.Morethan186,000sandbagsweredistributed(Wells,1992).Howevertherewasnotmuchinformationgivenonwhatindividualsshoulddoorwheretheyshouldgointheeventofaflashflood.Peopledidtakesome8

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actionsinresponsetothefloodingthreats.2.3RecommendationsMorebasestationsareneeded.ThereisnobasestationintheEmergencyOperationsCenter.Duringtheemergency,theseniorhydrologist,DoloresTaylor,wenttotheEOC,butshewasisolatedfrominformationfromthecomputermodelsatFloodControloffice.ShereachedtheFloodControlofficebytelephonebutthosephonenumberswereoftentiedupbyotherincomingcalls.IfshehaddirectaccesstotheALERTdatashecouldhaveprovidedbetterrealtimedatatootherdecisionmakersattheEOC.ThereissuchaconnectionwithPointMuguNavalstation,butthesystemneedstobeexpandedtoCountyfacilitiesthatarestaffed24hoursaday.Anunderstandingmustbereachedbetweentheprioritiesofriparianhabitatpreservationandfloodchannelcapacity.CountyofficialsandtheRVparkownercontendthatwillowsplantedinthechannelcontributedtotheseverityoftheflood.Towhatdegreedothesewillows,whichthecountymustplant,reducethechannelflowcapacity?willthesehaveasevereimpactinamoreseriousflood?Thewillowadvocatesarguethatthewillowssimplybendoveranddonotclogwithdebrisorsignificantlyreducetheflowcapacity."ThebUlkingoftheflowduetodebriscombinedwiththeexcessivegrowthintheriverbottom,resultedintheinnundationofanareanearlymatchingthetheroetical100yearfloodplainusedintheenvironmentalimpactreportfortheRVparkproject"(Taylor,1992:4).ProtocolsforemergencymanagementmustbedevelopedintheFloodControloffice.Thepublichaddirectaccesstothefloodcontrolengineer.Hisindividualattentiontoparticular9

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residents'callsreducedhisabilitytoprovideservicestothegreaterpUblicat-large.Officialscallingincouldnotgetthrough.ApublicinformationofficerorareferraltothepUblicinformationofficerattheSheriff'sdepartmentwouldbeasimplewaytohandlethesecallsconcerningevacuationandroadclosures.2.4ConclusionsInitialmediacoverageoftheFebruarystormsindicatedsevereflooding.Theinterruptionofservices,blockedroadways,closedschools,floodedbusinesses,andothercancelledactivitieswasnotable.However,lookingatVenturaCounty'sfloodhistoryandthestatisticsfromthiseventthe1992floodsshouldserveasaclosecallandawarningcomparedwithwhatcanbeexpected.Thecounty'spopulationat-riskhasgrowndramatically.Whileallsystemsworkedreasonablywellthisyear,amoreseverefloodwouldlikelyresultinmoredamagesandmoredeaths.TheCountymustholdfirmonlanduseregulations.ThereislittleevidencethatthisfloodhastaughtthatlessonasplansgoforwardtoreestablishtheRVparkatthemouthoftheVenturaRiver(Taylor,1992).10

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APPENDIX AInterviewquestions1.Whendidyouthinkthatthisstormmightleadtoflooding?Didyoureceiveanyofficialwarning?Fromwhomandwhen?2.Whatfactorsledyoutothinkthis?(environmental/unofficial/official)3.Whatactionsdidyoutake?4.Howdoyouthinkthewarningsystemworked?5.Didpeopletakeappropriateaction?6.Howdoyouthinkthesystemcouldbeimproved?7.Whoelsedoyouthinkweshouldspeakto?ListofpeopleinterviewedSergeantJimBurell-PublicInformationOfficerVenturaCountySheriff'sOffice.SteveDwyer-ActingChiefofEmergencyServices,u.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineers.VirginiaFox-FoxWeatherCarolGreen-AssistanttoVenturacitymanager.KarenGuidi-DirectorVenturaCountyOfficeofEmergencyServices.BobHicks-ForecasterPointMuguNavalstation.MartharuthLefever-DirectorRedCrossVenturaCounty.RickLiefield-AssistantChiefofEngineers,U.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineers.DavidServaes-CaITrans.JohnWeikel-Hydrologist,venturaCountyFloodControlDistrict.SandiWells-PIO,VenturaCountyFireDepartment.11

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Additionalpeopleweinterviewed(butwithoutparticularlyaskingthesetofquestions)BobArmogeda-U.S.ArmyCorpsofEngineersBillBielecki-ManagerventuraBeachRVpark.MarvinHansen-HydrographerVenturaCountyFloodControlDistrict.LeeKrogh-NationalWeatherService,SaltLakeCity.DoloresTaylor-SeniorHydrologist,VenturaCountyFloodControlDistrict.12

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GlendaleMOJAVEOESER TCanoga Park4.72" ,..,'.@J i'., ..iiOi\ ,.: it.'! I,. I Moorpark t2... 13.07" ::::J,/ 2.S7"Ventura i Newhall I 3.0S" _._J .-::;<-.I'"II:: ii .....jIt'-!@TI './" _.-f;i;IT,1[-107 -... -" '.',f4, .: ..'e'r::"\it. ..,-'',. "\ .. .:::f3).'l; I ;.! .(illr::: Pasadena 1.15" 7.35"* -';,r'::"\ ,,:-.-. :-:: 'I1.37" '. '. HOW LOCAL ---A storm system that stalled over the west SanFernando' .:-: ;. Valley dumped from.58inchesofrain at theLACivic center".tI.L.A. to 6.14 inchesofrain in Woodland Hills between 4 p.rn: Sunday.' \ijCIVIC Center ana 4p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service." '-.-' .8S" *As of7:30p.m. Monday,7.35inches had fallen in-.--';--... ,,':._;',:___ Woodland Hills, according to meteorologist Bill Reed '. 'j.. ':' .... ,'<,. Figure1.MapShowing Rainfall Variations from 4PMSunday and 4PMMondavfrom Daily NewsFebruary12,1992, p.14. .-----------._._---------------------, 1.37"Glendale MOJAVEDESERTCanoga Park 1.10"\e\,...IIMoorpark f. ,I 1.69" Newhall1.67" 1.47"Ventura E=l: f '4'!".,';i I" '-4'" ;'J-1i"::'.J over24 Herearerainfall figures for selected,,':i.. "SouUlland communities for the.... ': period endingat4p.m.Tuesday.! ",_. SOURCE: NationeJWeatherSecvloe. ..;.:5<',">!-'r .' ",' '.;1 \ ...---:3"---'I'<'::--..Figure2.MapShowing Variations in Local Rainfall from 4PMMondayto4PMTuesdayFebruary10-11, 1992 from Daily News,February11, 1992, p.7.13

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i n WEDNES0AY2 a.m. .. a.m. 6 Lm. 8 Lm.10Lm. 2p.m. 4 p.rn.6p.m. Sp.m. 10p.m.TUES0AY! RainfoWI .6 Bob Oawsorv"::arFr6e PressFigure3.Rainfall and the Ventura River from Ventura County Star Free Press, February13,1992, February13,1992, A-3.Rainfallasof7 p.m.WednesdayStormSeasonNcrmalLocationtotaltodateCamarillo 1.33 12.19827GoV!. Cer.ter 1.7413.789.34 EIRio 1.23 12.25 923Fillmore 4.07 17.0911.70 UOW Oial3.8521.24 14.00 Oxnard1.6312.908.90 Santa Paula3.C217.771088 S,mJ Valley2.i115.028.65T.Oaks2.1815.169.33 'Rain seasonOegan Oct ,.Figure4.Rainfall figures as of 7 PM Wednesday February13,1992 from Ventura Countv Star Free Press, February13,1992,February13,1992, A-3Rainfall Figures. -Precipitationforthe five-day period ending4:30p.m.Friday.BurbankEncinoNorthrtdge Woodland Hills Newhall PalmdalesanFernando WestlakeVIllageMonday4.004.57 4.626.143.061.420.96.6.00.Tuesday2.183.042.642.781.67 1.515.821.10Wednesday3.303.574.243.613.921.19 1.523.50 Thursday 0.50 0.321.120.721.24 0.212.230.95.Frtday0.00 tr 0.00 tr 0.000.000.110.00Tolal9.9811.512.6213.259.89 4.33 10.6411.55lnfonnatlonprovidedbyWeatherOataInc.Continental Weather services, Inc.,BurbankAre Department,PalmdaleWater District.SanFernando_PublicWorksDepartment. Westlake VillageFireDepartment. SanFem
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Ojai Near Ojai, five creeks carrying runoff from the Los Padres National Forest mountains threaten homesinmost of the eastern end of tITe valley. c Flood control officials say Peach Hill Wash and Arroyo Simi could endanger homes along Hitch Boulevard and Santa Rosa Drive. Home Acres residents alsofear the Hitch Boulevard bridge. the only way out, could be losttothe Arroyo Simi. ; ..Fillmore While flood control offic:als say theISespe Creek threatens homeson:rseast bank, homeownersinthe Los Serenos subdivision express confidenceinthe levy that protects their property.BobDawsonI St<1r-free Press 15Figure6.Public Information on Flood Risks providedbythe Ventura County Flood ControlDepartmentand publishedbythe Ventura County StarFreePress, February16,1992, A-5.

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BIBLIOGRAPHYTechnicalReportsandArticlesGruntfest,E.andC.Huber,FlashFloodingTowardaComprehensiveNationalAssessmentofFlashFloodingintheunitedstates,EpisodesMarch1991,p.26-35.Gruntfest,E.andC.J.Huber,"statusReportonFloodWarningSystemsintheunitedstates"inEnvironmentalManagement,v.13,nO.3,p.279-286.Huber,CaroleJ."ComparativeAssessmentofFloodWarningSystemsintheUnitedstates1987-1991"unpublishedMaster'sThesis,UniversityofColorado,Boulder,1992.proceedingsoftheALERTUsersGroupAnnualConference,AsilomarConferenceCenter,California,May,19-22,1991.Taylor,Delores,"FloodsinVenturaCounty-TheComputerisNotAlwaysRight"NaturalHazardsObserverMay1992,p.4-5.Taylor,DeloresandJ.G.Weikel,ImportanceofALERTDataandOPFjsinFloodControlandWarning/OperationVenturaCounty,CaliforniaHeavyPrecipitationWorkshop,Sparks,Nevada,March13-16,1990.NewspaperCoverageLosAngelesTimes.February10-19,1992VenturaCountyStarFreePress.February11-19,1992ThousandOaksDailyNews.February11,1992DailyNews.February11-14,1992BakersfieldCalifornian.February13,1992ThousandOaksNewsChronicle.February13,1992StarFreePress.February15,1992BurbankLeader.February15,1992 \10

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MONDAY2/1010AMafternoon6PMTUESDAY2/11morning7PM7:45PM9PM WEDNESDAY 2/1212AM2AM1APPENDIXBVENTURA COUNTY FLOODCHRONOLOGYFEBRUARY10-15,1992venturacountyFireDept.receivesfloodwarningfromNOAABuildingsinOxnard,ThousandOaks,andMoorparkamongothercommunitiesfloodandarestructurallydamaged.AgriculturalcropsinclUdinglemongrovesandValentine'sDayflowersaredestroyedordamaged.countyFireDept.handles117floodingand23trafficincidents.Theyalsohandoutapproximately36,000sandbagstoresidents.TheVenturaRiver,theSantaClaraRiver,andtheSespeCreekareonly1/3full.StormwaterscrestthebanksoftheCalleguasCreekandbreachaleveeneartheCamarilloStateHospital.Nosignificantprecipitationoccurs.Rainbeginsatanintensityofalmost.4inchesanhour.Raincontinuessporadically:graduallydecreasinginintensityuntilmidnight.AmudslideclosesthePacificCoastHighwaynearPointMugu.Rainsresume.DoloresTaylorreportstoFloodControlandinformstheCountySheriff'sOfficethattherainisintensifying.

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4AM5AM6AM2Rainintensityat.68inchesperhour.Sheriff'sOfficedecidestoactivateEmergencyOperationsCenter(EOC).EOCnotificationsbegin.6:45AMThehillsideaboveEncinoLane,liquifiesandcrashesintoaoccupants.northofVenturahomekillingtwo8AM8:15AM8:30AM8:45AM8:55AM9AM9:11AM9:20AM9:35AM9:50AM10:01AM11:40AMventuraRiverwasflowingat30,000cfsandrising.LiveOakCreekinOjaiValleyoverflowedandflooded30homes.JohnWeikelofFloodControlcallstheVenturaBeachRVparktowarnthattheriverisrisingandsuggestedevacuation.AnewshelicopterfromChannel4rescuesa manstrandedonanislandintheVenturaRiver.EvacuationsbeginattheVenturaBeachRVpark.VenturaRiveroverflowsnearW.MainStreet.FloodwaterspreventfurtherevacuationoftheRVpark.HelicoptersrescuepeoplefromtheriverbedandroofsofRVs.ThestormpassesthroughtheVenturaareaandheadseast.CityofVenturaFireDept.receivescallsofpeopletrappedonanislandontheriveronehalfmilenorthoftheMainStreetbridge.Amudslidecovered4lanesofHighway118atRockyPeakRoad.RedCrossopensDeAnzaMiddleSchoolshelter.TwoSheriff'shelicoptersbegincollecting20peoplefromroofsofRVsand10morefromtheriverbed.SearchandRescuesenddiverstocheckinsidesubmergedRVsforadditionalvictims.RedCrossopensNordoffHighSchoolasshelter.VenturaRiverpeaksat58,000cfs,exceedingthe1969floodlevels.Lakecastaicoverflows.

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5:45PMTHURSDAY2/13alldayFRIDAY2/1410AM3PM4:30PMSATURDAY2/156:45AM8AM8:20AM9:30AM10AM3GovernorPeteWilsondeclaresastateofEmergencyinVenturaandLosAngelesCounties.Nosignificantprecipitation.citizenscleanupandprepareforthenextpredictedrains.CityofVenturadeclaredlocaldisasterarea.FloodplanningmeetinginEOCinresponsetoforecastsformorerain.EOCoperationsputonstandby.EOCactivated.Coyotecreekoverflowsitsbanks,butdoesnotfloodanyhomes.SmallrockslideatHighway33andEncino.HilltopandSantaRosaNurseryfloods.Ninepeoplerescuedbyhelicopter.EOCdeactivated.Nofurtherrain.(Source:VenturaCountyStarFreePress2/13pA-3andVenturaCountySheriff'sFloodActivityReport)