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Our community, perhaps more than any other in California, is steeped in the lore of flood control. The very landscape of our neighborhoods is shaped by the channels and debris basins that protect us from a dynamic mix of geologically unstable mountains, steep terrain, and our cyclic flash-flood weather patterns. Every day we pass by, drive over, or live next to a complex engineering system that is designed to calm killer floods and landslides.
Last winter, after our devastating Station Fire, the media attention was focused on the Crescenta Valley, expecting us to be washed away by rain-generated mudslides. Thankfully most of us dodged the bullet that was aimed at us, thanks to the lowly debris basin, the most critical component in our flood control system. Yet few of us know how that system works.
Here's your chance to see first-hand how debris basins catch mudslides, and where the mud goes afterward. Los Angeles County Public Works will be giving the community a tour of the Pickens Debris Basin, which is being enlarged and improved, the Dunsmore Debris Basin, which performed admirably in last winter's floods, and the sediment placement site at Deukmejian Park, a mountainous pile where ultimately all the solid runoff from our mountains ends up.