Disaster preparedness is a lot like the definition of luck, when preparedness meets opportunity – and the best time to prepare is before the flood. Remember, Noah built the ark before the flood, not during and not afterwards. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?
There was an interesting article after the Spring Fire in the Hills about Western Malibu published in the Malibu Times on May 4th, 2013 titled; “Caltrans secures $2.5 mil for PCH protections after Springs Fire – No current threat of landslides, but topsoil on a 10-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway is loose,” by Melissa Caskey which stated;
“To keep loose soil, debris and rocks from falling onto the roadway in Malibu and Ventura County, Caltrans has secured $2.5 million in emergency state funding to install fencing and railing along a 10-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway affected by the Springs Fire. “The topsoil is loosened and there’s a lot of rock and dirt and sand coming into the roadway,” Caltrans spokesperson Lauren Wonder said. “We just need to protect the road from all that.”
It was a nice article written by Melissa, good reporting, explaining how Cal Trans had secured money to protect against landslides and mudslides after the fire. Now then, I’d like to report after hiking and biking through the area there, along PCH, and up on all the roads and trails, I can safely say that this area is not prepared for any large (normal) storm, much less an unexpected large storm. The ground is loose and with no vegetation, nothing to slow down the water and mud, it’s going to be a complete mess.
Not sure what they blew the 2.5 million dollars on, but that isn’t enough and what’s been done so far is inadequate. We need a plan – one which is bathed in reality. We need to set up a group to look into this and meet and get together at the Trancas Canyon. Starbucks, because it’s time to work on such a plan, otherwise PCH, and many of the tributary roads in the mountains will be impassible in multiple places during and after the first big rain storm of 2013. And the clean-up will be a nightmare, no one seems to be concerned – do they forget their history?
Perhaps, it is time for a follow up article because what’s been done isn’t good enough. We need suggestions, input and a solid strategy. People could get hurt, property damaged and infrastructure destroyed. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.