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January 18
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe


Truck stuck in the mud on Sierra Highway when the Mint Canyon Creek overflowed (part of the Santa Clara River Watershed) during the El Nino weather event of February 1998. Photo by Gary Thornhill/SCVHistory.com.

Sure it looks dry most of the time, but it’s a desert stream, after all, and sometimes it flash-floods – taking cars, houses and people away with it.

Just in time for the rainy season, County Public Works Director Gail Farber is asking the Board of Supervisors to approve additional funding Tuesday for a study aimed at solving the decades- and even centuries-old problem of flooding in the Santa Clara River Valley.

A new “sediment transport” study would come at a cost of $1.5 million. It’s one piece of a bigger pie that dates to 2004 when the county agreed to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ventura County Watershed Protection District to study the entire 1,600-square-mile Santa Clara River watershed from Acton to the Pacific Ocean.

The watershed is roughly evenly divided between Los Angeles and Ventura counties – 772 square miles in L.A. County and 831 square miles in Ventura County. L.A. County’s focus is on the area from Sand and Mint canyons (Sierra Highway area) easterly to Agua Dulce and Acton.

In 2004, the agencies agreed to split the initial $8.2 million price tag: $4.3 million from the Army Corps, $2.2 million from Ventura County and $1.7 million in in-kind services from the L.A. County Flood Control District.

Structures in the Acton area are lost as the banks of the Santa Clara River crumble, probably in the flood of March 1938 or February 1941. Photo: SCVHistory.com

L.A. County has performed $1.7 million worth of work in the form of hydrology, surveys, mapping, sediment sampling and project management, plus another $369,000 for a geomorphology study that was completed last year.

Farber’s funding request for a “complex and highly specialized” sediment transport study would boost the county’s contribution to $3.569 million.

The goal of all of these studies, according to the 2004 board report, is to “identify flood protection and sedimentation problems and opportunities within the watershed. … The results will be mapped and integrated into a GIS database for analysis.”

Once the studies are done, perhaps they could lead to the actual work of shoring up the river so homes won’t wash away as they’ve done for decades across the SCV during El Nino weather events.

 

February 1998: A motorist is stranded as Placerita Creek overflows. Photo by Gary Thornhill/SCVHistory.com.

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    LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
    Monday, Jan 18, 2021
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 88 new deaths and 9,927 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported 7 new fatalities since Friday.
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    The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
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    Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
    Monday, Jan 18, 2021
    The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert Monday night due to the potential of extreme Santa Ana wind and fire weather conditions in much of the county late Monday night into early Wednesday.
    Friday, Jan 15, 2021
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.

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