L.A.’s Water Lifeline Faces Unprecedented Flood Threat, Calamity

"OLANCHA, Calif. — More than a month after heavy storms eroded a section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, work crews are still scrambling to complete repairs and shore up flood defenses in the face of a weeklong heat wave that threatens to trigger widespread snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada.

“We’re doing as much as we can, as quickly as possible,” said Paul Liu, of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “Our crews are working 12-hour shifts.”

Historic snowpack levels in the Eastern Sierra are expected to melt into runoff that is 225% of normal, which translates to about 326 billion gallons of water that will need to be managed, DWP officials said.

And while a typical runoff season in the region can last from May to June, this year’s “could push through to August,” said Anselmo Collins, senior assistant general manager of the DWP’s water system."

Louis Sahagún reports for the Los Angeles Times with photography by Carolyn Cole April 27, 2023.

Source: LA Times, 04/28/2023