5 pm Sat and just got off the phone with the LA County Road head for the area. Apparently a segment of one lane of the Angeles Forest Hwy has slipped away between Big Tujunga and the Crest Hwy so expect that area to be out of action for awhile. Gate at Vogel still closed. Vogel down to Stonyvale turning left (towards La Paloma) has a lot of rocks that cars can’t get through, but if they get equipment down there they may be able to punch one lane through the debris. Moving downstream along Stonyvale, the dual culvert crossing just before Vogel private and the right into Vogel Forest Cabins has the culverts plugged and the dirt has totally filled the channel going back upstream. Water is just going over the road. They will try and get a backhoe in to move dirt to allow the water to flow in the channel.
Bottomline is that Big Tujunga road still has slide material on it in several places reducing the road width. As such, it is still closed but they are planning on issuing a press release, once they get all the slides cleared, when it will be open to residents, emergency traffic and contractors.
Keep in mind that if they can’t get it open safely before the next rain and the rain is forecasted to be significant, they may leave it closed till after the rain. Remember, they are only clearing the mud off the road, they haven’t started on clearing the plugged drains which caused the mud to flow on the road. The next rain can put water and mud back on the road if the drains aren’t functioning which means we could be back to square one.
Sorry about the pendulum on this but we are going to take our cue from the county.
In response to the current wave of rain storms, LA County Public Works has closed Big Tujunga Canyon Road and the Angeles Forest Highway. Also, recreational use permits are temporarily suspended for the duration of this rain event.
For the latest road closure information, go to:
District Ranger Mike McIntyre will initiate condition surveys of the Big Tujunga area Monday, December 14, in order to determine whether or not it is safe for residents to return to the canyon. As soon as the potential danger of flooding and debris flows has passes, this permit suspension will be rescinded.
In the mean time, stay dry, keep warm, and stay safe.
P.S. Didn’t I say something about “gully washers”?
Mike asked me to send an update along to the list. As you know we’ve got more storms headed our way, and while we’ve been lucky so far, it’s only a matter of time before we get a “gully washer”. It never rains in California, remember?
I also wanted to include a link for Weather.com’s 10-day forecast. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s another resource to use for planning while we work on clean-up, sand bagging, etc.
Lastly, let me echo Mike’s call for patience and understanding. Keep in mind that just because we’ve weathered storms and flooding in the past, this is a new game. The Station Fire was, after all, the WORST fire in LA County history. The damage to our mountains from this fire is much more extreme than that which caused the 1978 and 1982 floods. Don’t take the risk. Do what you can to protect your home, but don’t delude yourself. If debris starts heading your way, there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you stay, you risk your lives. It’s that simple.
So far all the Station Fire has only claimed 2 lives. Let’s keep it that way.
As I was leaving work, I saw that the National Weather Service has scheduled a conference call tomorrow (it was tentative earlier this week depending on how the two storms were shaping up) to give us the up-to-date on the storms. The fact it is scheduled indicates that the Saturday storm could be a big one. So I may be issuing permit suspensions after the call – this is a heads-up. We will incorporate lead time into the suspension. Flexibility is the key.
Michael J. McIntyre
Los Angeles River Ranger District
12371 North Little Tujunga Canyon Road
San Fernando, CA 91342
(818) 899-1900 ext. 223
(818) 896-6727 (FAX)
“Don’t Accept The Norm…..It is
Somebody Else’s Compromise”
Just to let you know, the LA County Department of Public Works has three (3) planned road closures in the Angeles Forest. These are “hard” closures, which means no one gets in except emergency response personnel.
For the latest update, go to: http://gis.dpw.lacounty.gov/roadclosures/
The current information as of this writing is given below.
|Street – From/To
||Expected Closure On
|Angeles Forest Hwy From Aliso Cyn Rd To Angeles Crest Hwy
||Closed Due To Storm As Of 5:00pm, 12/06/09
|Big Tugunga Cyn Rd From La City Limit To Angeles Forest Hwy
||Cloased Due To Storm As Of 5:00pm, 12/06/09
|Upper Big Tujunga Cyn Rd From Angeles Forest Hwy To Angeles Crest Hwy
||Closed Due To Storm As Of 5:00pm, 12/06/09
It’s official. Special Use Permits are temporarily suspended due to the incoming storm events. If you have business in Big Tujunga, wrap it up and get out. It’s not worth putting yourselves at risk. The official notice from Mike McIntyre is here.