Federal representative assesses local storm damage

By Gina Ender

Last update: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

A federal representative visited the valley Wednesday to assess reports the city of Santa Clarita filed in regard to January storms, and to evaluate claims of damage to public infrastructure.

Any information collected is sent to the governor’s office for evaluation before being forwarded to President Trump’s office for a final decision on whether or not funding will be given to repair damages.

Officials viewed locations related specifically to roads, creeks and intersections. However, individual assistance for homeowners, business owners and renters will be conducted at later date.

FEMA Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff, left, takes photographs as he and California Office of Emergency Services Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist Reuben Bernaldez tour the Iron Canyon Project site in Canyon Country on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The group, comprised of a representative from local, county, state and federal emergency agencies, toured Sand Canyon Road, Iron Canyon Road, Lost Canyon Road and Camp 14 in Angeles National Forest to verify the original photographic and video reports made last month.

“I am here to work with my state partners to analyze the damage,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff said. “I’m validating what the state says happened over here.”

Reuben Bernaldez, California Office of Emergency Services Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist, was touring the locations for the second time after his original evaluation three weeks ago.

FEMA Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff, left, takes notes as he and City of Santa Clarita Emergency Services Supervisor Donna Nuzzi and City of Santa Clarita Management Analyst Elana Galvez tour site at the corner of Sand Canyon and Iron Canyon road in Canyon country on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Damages start at the ground level,” Bernaldez said. “We work with the local jurisdictions, gather the information, gather the data and then elevate to the proper channels until it reaches the state, then we come down to survey the damages and the sites.”

Donna Nuzzi, Santa Clarita Emergency Services Supervisor, echoed Bernaldez’s sentiment and said the damages were still a city-focused issue.

“All disasters are local,” Nuzzi said. “We have to do our due diligence to get all of this documented.”

Kenneth Kondo, L.A. County Emergency Program Manager and Public Information Officer, said much of the January and February storm damage was intensified because of the Sand fires in July and Calgrove fires in 2015.

“When we have a big fire like this, the debris and mudflow is what we’re worried about,” Kondo said. “(Without) vegetation protecting the hillsides, when the rains hit, there’s nothing to protect.”

Excavators work in Iron Canyon Creek as City of Santa Clarita, California Emergency Services and FEMA officials take a tour of the Iron Canyon Project site where flooding occurred in heavy rain last week in Canyon Country. Dan Watson/The Signal

Kondo said he encourages residents to itemize and document their damages and take photos and videos of their properties to compare with footage after a storm.

He also advised residents to prepare for future storms by developing plans, getting sand bags, preparing their contact information and gathering emergency kits.

Officials touring Santa Clarita also visited Palmdale and Agoura Hills the same day. The team was one of six groups assigned in Los Angeles County.

 

gender@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter as @ginaender

 

 

 

 

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Federal representative assesses local storm damage

FEMA Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff, left, takes notes as he and City of Santa Clarita Emergency Services Supervisor Donna Nuzzi tour the site at the corner of Sand Canyon and Iron Canyon Road in Canyon Country on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

A federal representative visited the valley Wednesday to assess reports the city of Santa Clarita filed in regard to January storms, and to evaluate claims of damage to public infrastructure.

Any information collected is sent to the governor’s office for evaluation before being forwarded to President Trump’s office for a final decision on whether or not funding will be given to repair damages.

Officials viewed locations related specifically to roads, creeks and intersections. However, individual assistance for homeowners, business owners and renters will be conducted at later date.

FEMA Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff, left, takes photographs as he and California Office of Emergency Services Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist Reuben Bernaldez tour the Iron Canyon Project site in Canyon Country on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The group, comprised of a representative from local, county, state and federal emergency agencies, toured Sand Canyon Road, Iron Canyon Road, Lost Canyon Road and Camp 14 in Angeles National Forest to verify the original photographic and video reports made last month.

“I am here to work with my state partners to analyze the damage,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff said. “I’m validating what the state says happened over here.”

Reuben Bernaldez, California Office of Emergency Services Disaster Assistance Programs Specialist, was touring the locations for the second time after his original evaluation three weeks ago.

FEMA Project Specialist Alieu Sheriff, left, takes notes as he and City of Santa Clarita Emergency Services Supervisor Donna Nuzzi and City of Santa Clarita Management Analyst Elana Galvez tour site at the corner of Sand Canyon and Iron Canyon road in Canyon country on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Damages start at the ground level,” Bernaldez said. “We work with the local jurisdictions, gather the information, gather the data and then elevate to the proper channels until it reaches the state, then we come down to survey the damages and the sites.”

Donna Nuzzi, Santa Clarita Emergency Services Supervisor, echoed Bernaldez’s sentiment and said the damages were still a city-focused issue.

“All disasters are local,” Nuzzi said. “We have to do our due diligence to get all of this documented.”

Kenneth Kondo, L.A. County Emergency Program Manager and Public Information Officer, said much of the January and February storm damage was intensified because of the Sand fires in July and Calgrove fires in 2015.

“When we have a big fire like this, the debris and mudflow is what we’re worried about,” Kondo said. “(Without) vegetation protecting the hillsides, when the rains hit, there’s nothing to protect.”

Excavators work in Iron Canyon Creek as City of Santa Clarita, California Emergency Services and FEMA officials take a tour of the Iron Canyon Project site where flooding occurred in heavy rain last week in Canyon Country. Dan Watson/The Signal

Kondo said he encourages residents to itemize and document their damages and take photos and videos of their properties to compare with footage after a storm.

He also advised residents to prepare for future storms by developing plans, getting sand bags, preparing their contact information and gathering emergency kits.

Officials touring Santa Clarita also visited Palmdale and Agoura Hills the same day. The team was one of six groups assigned in Los Angeles County.

 

gender@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter as @ginaender

 

 

 

 

About the author

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.