Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Flag Mud Alert

The City of Sierra Madre issued a Green Flag Mud Alert for Sierra Madre residences in potential mud flow areas. The National Weather Service is forecasting a 90% chance of rain in Sierra Madre on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 25 and 26, 2008. The quantity of precipitation is over 2” for Tuesday, decreasing sharply for Wednesday.

Should there be mud flow the City of Sierra Madre Public Works Department will work hard to clean the streets of any potential debris and mud as soon as possible. However, depending on the amount of rainfall and debris, streets may not be accessible before the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend.

All homeowners are encouraged to take proactive steps to protect their homes. Sand and bags will be available at the Public Works Yard (621 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.) and the Fire Station (232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.). Able bodied volunteers not living in the potential mud flow areas are encouraged to help fill sandbags. Those interested in assisting with sandbags should contact James Carlson or Suzi McConnell at 626-355-7135.

Additional information on how to protect your home can be found on the City’s website, Mud incident updates can be found at

Background on the Sierra Madre Mud Alert System:

A series of three different colored flags will be flown at four different locations in the City (City Hall, Search and Rescue, Mountain Trail and Churchill Road, and Mary’s Market). When possible, flags will be displayed indicating one of three stages of emergency. Be sure to check the website, email alerts, SMTV3 or simply call City Hall or the Police Department to confirm the current stage of emergency and please understand the City may not always have the ability to change these flags.

Stage One: GREEN FLAG - Activated under a prediction of 80% - 100% chance of precipitation. Affected residents should get “READY” for potential evacuation. This includes keeping a close watch on weather forecasts.

Stage Two: YELLOW FLAG - Activated with an LA County Phase 1 mudflow forecast. This is described as small, isolated debris and mudflows possible at specific locations. Affected residents should get “SET” to leave their homes and may choose to voluntarily evacuate. Please note that all vehicles must be off the streets in potential mudflow areas during Yellow Flag alerts.

Stage Three: RED FLAG - Activated with an LA County Phase 2 or 3 forecast. Phase 2 includes moderate debris and mudflows at more widespread locations. Phase 3 - the potential exists for significant debris and mudflows to be widespread. Affected residents should “GO”, meaning they should immediately evacuate, and vehicles should not be parked on the streets.

A yellow or red flag may also trigger vehicles being towed from designated streets at the owners’ expense. The affected streets are: Mount Wilson Trail, Churchill Rd., Skyland Dr., Fern Glen, Fern Dr., Idlehour Ln., Canyon Crest Dr., Orange Dr., Woodland Dr., Brookside Lane, Sunnyside Lane, Yucca Trail, and Holly Trail. The City is working to have these vehicles towed to local lots, please look to future mud newsletters for further details.

The Red Flag “GO” will trigger Information Check-in Centers to be opened at both Sierra Madre Public School Campuses. (160 N. Canon Ave. & 141 W. Highland Ave.) If you evacuate, please notify the Check-In Center so that we know you are safely out and have contact information to ensure you have timely notice of when it is safe to go back into your home. Additional information on Evacuation Shelters and pet lodging will be available at these locations. When evacuating, please plan to be as self-sufficient as possible with important paperwork, medications, and clothing for at least seven days.

Please note that Public Safety Officials do not take evacuation orders lightly and residents should heed these orders. Once mud begins to flow, Emergency Responders will NOT rescue those who failed to evacuate until the mud has stopped flowing and it is safe for responders to enter the mud flow areas.