Caution Urged As Temperatures Rise
Local Waterways Will Pose Hazards
The National Weather Service out of Las Vegas warned Friday that an extended stretch of warmer weather over the next several days will accelerate snowmelt along the Eastern Sierra slopes of Inyo County.
Temperatures are forecast to rise to the mid- to high 80s through Thursday. With the arrival of summer-like temperatures, all creeks, streams, and rivers will be running high and fast, leading to the very likely possibility of minor flooding.
Most local waterways are already running very near maximum capacity and local agencies such as Inyo County, Caltrans, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have worked for months to minimize anticipated flooding, including clearing debris from channels and culverts, and installing new and/or reinforcing existing infrastructure.
While it may be tempting to get out there this weekend and enjoy some water related recreation, the public is advised to stay away from all local waters besides Diaz Lake, Millpond, and Buckley Ponds.
“Due to their swift currents and very cold water temperatures, creeks and streams pose life threatening dangers,” the National Weather Service warned in a hydrologic outlook posted online Thursday. “Extra caution should be exercised as exhaustion or unconsciousness from hypothermia could set in quickly. Always wear a properly fitted life jacket for all water activities.”
Additionally, Inyo National Forest Service campgrounds will be at risk of flooding, as will roads used to access campgrounds and hiking trailheads. Pastureland or farmland adjacent to creeks, streams, and rivers could experience areas of flooding, as well as a prolonged period of standing water.
The public is strongly urged to avoid driving through flooded areas or around any closures or barricades. Emergency response capabilities are limited.
Residents who are not already signed up to receive emergency alerts from the County may visit https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/DAD807D480BF to do so.
The Ready Inyo site, https://ready.inyocounty.us, is the main hub for County of Inyo emergency readiness, response, and recovery information including preparedness tips, sandbag information, and road closures, as well as surveys asking for community feedback and engagement.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office posts frequent runoff and flood updates at https://www.facebook.com/InyoCountySheriffsOffice.
(From Inyo County Administrator’s Office, Office of Emergency Services, Sheriff’s Office)