How to stay safe during major storms

The City of Santa Clarita ten-wheeler with a plow removes debris off of Placerita Canyon Road on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The season’s largest storm is causing local officials to remind residents of tips and tricks to stay safe at home and on the road in the Santa Clarita Valley


During the storm, particularly at risk areas include the Rye Fire and Sand Fire burn areas, which could experience flash floods, mudflows and debris flows. However, the rain could also cause flooding along urban streets and rockslides along canyon roads.

A mudslide and flood hazard map from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works indicates that small stretches of land throughout the SCV could be at high risk of flooding.

The rain could also impact flood control channels, arroyos and other low-lying areas and fill them with fast-moving water, creating a life-threatening danger. If this occurs, residents are advised not to walk through flowing water.

“Drowning is the leading cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said. “Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.”

A sheriff’s vehicle passes by a flooded sign along Sand Canyon Road on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal


Sandbags play a critical role in defending homes against potential flooding and mud and debris storms, according to officials.

A total of 15 fire stations across the Santa Clarita Valley are offering free sandbags to residents, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works. The full list of locations and offerings can be found at:

Residents are encouraged to call the stations in advance to check the availability of both sandbags and sand at each location.


Fast-moving water and flooded streets could also cause danger for drivers by sweeping cars off of the roadway or trapping drivers in their vehicles.

“Avoid driving through pooled areas,” Los Angeles County said. “Standing water is often deeper than it looks and can conceal tire-damaging debris or make your car inoperable.”

If drivers do become stranded in their cars, they are advised to stay inside until help arrives. If water around their cars continues to rise, they should move to the roof of their vehicles and wait for emergency assistance.

While driving in the rain, the California Highway Patrol encourages residents to drive with their headlights on, leave extra distance between vehicles, carry supplies in their cars and apply brakes more slowly.

If a car starts to hydroplane, drivers should ease off the accelerator and steer straight until they regain control.

A car drives through deep water on Placerita Canyon Road near The Master’s University on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal


Storms can also bring a danger for downed wires and power lines in backyards and on streets.

Downed trees and mudslides can damage electrical lines, and puddles on cement or grass can carry electricity if a wire is down. If residents see downed power lines, they should stay away and call 911.

Southern California Edison also recommends that residents have a battery-operated radio and flashlight to use during power outages.

Important Numbers for SCV Residents:

  • Emergency alerts: text SCEMERGENCY to 888-777
  • Public downed trees (not private property): 661-290-2222
  • Public storm drain backup: 661-286-4098
  • Flooded streets/debris/tra­ffic signals: 661-294-2520
  • Private Property Mudslide/Erosion Engineering Permit Hotline: 661-286-4060
  • Southern California Edison (power outages): 800-611-1911
  • Southern California Gas Company: 800-427-2200
  • Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station: 661-255-1121

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