News Details

Prepare for heavy rains

Flooded streets

March is typically one of the wettest months in Southern California, so it’s possible we may see more heavy storms like the one that hit on February 17.

Here’s what you can do to be prepared…including steps you can take to reduce the chance for street flooding in your neighborhood.

Bring trash cans off the street as soon as possible if heavy rain is forecast.
• Once emptied, trash cans easily blow over in heavy rain, blocking the flow of water in the gutter, and causing the street to flood more. Once EDCO dumps your trash cans, please remove them from the street as soon as possible.

Park your vehicle in your driveway if possible if heavy rain is forecast.
• Just like trash cans, a vehicle parked along the curb can slow the flow of water in a heavy rain.  That adds to street flooding, and also puts low-lying vehicles at risk for water damage if there’s temporary high water on a street. The safest thing for your vehicle and your neighborhood is to park your car in your driveway when heavy rain is forecast.

Note about the historic design of Lakewood streets.
• Because Lakewood has very flat terrain, homes were built on a slope above the streets, knowing that the streets would hold significant water during a heavy downpour before the water cleared through storm drains and on to nearby river channels. In a heavy downpour, it’s best and safest not to drive, if possible, in order to give the water time to clear off the streets into the stormwater system. If you must drive, see the bullet points below about safe driving during rain.

Are your vehicles prepared?
• Make sure your wiper blades, tires and brakes are in good shape.
• Drive extra carefully when it rains. Give yourself extra space and time to brake.
• "Turn Around, Don't Drown." Never drive through a flooded street or intersection. If you come across a flooded intersection or street, turn around or find an alternate route. Don't attempt to cross swift-moving water; as little as two feet of rushing water can sweep a vehicle away.

Are your home and yard prepared?
• Clear your rain gutters.
• Check trees that may have weak limbs that could fall in a storm.
• Garages are the most vulnerable to flooding. Raise valuable items off the floor. Keep sandbags on hand if you think your garage or ground-level rooms are at risk.

Lakewood City Hall staff is available 24/7 in emergencies. To report a fallen tree, traffic signal outage, or clogged storm drain catch-basin or other city service emergency, call city hall at 562-866-9771. After hours, call the same number but follow the prompts to page a 24-hour emergency services worker. 

For a public safety emergency, always call 9-1-1. 

If power is out citywide for an extended period of time, city staff will broadcast emergency information on Lakewood’s KLWD 1620 AM radio station. The station can be heard on your car radio. It’s also another reason to have a supply of batteries and radio at home as part of your emergency kit.

Click here for more information on disaster preparedness.