Since storm conditions are expected this winter, the City of West Covina has begun preparations for heavy rains. Infrastructures have been assessed and emergency procedures are in place should they be required. The City has paid close attention to the hot spots that typically cause problems during winter rains.
Despite these preparations, problems may still occur. You can help by contacting the City at (626) 939-8425 should you see a drain backing up, a fallen tree, traffic lights that are not working, or any condition in the City’s infrastructure that may cause a hazardous situation.
There are also things you can do to protect your property. We would like to encourage you to look at your own property for any problems that may arise from high winds or heavy rain. It is never too late to prepare for the next storm.
The following are some ideas of things you can do to prepare for the weather.
- Check your gutters, v-ditches, and yard drains for debris. It is also a good idea to look at their condition. Gutters and drains are important not only for keeping water away from the side of the building, they also keep water away from building foundations and slopes. Failing to maintain gutters and v-ditches properly can result in unexpected expense and damage.
- Keep a close eye on the condition of your roof. Identify leaks and problems before you have a lounge room view of a waterfall. When you identify a problem, call a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible.
- Check the condition of windows and doors, making sure they seal correctly. Air or light coming through a window or door is a fairly good indicator that the seal may need to be replaced.
- If you have a fireplace, have the chimney checked for soot blockages. A blocked chimney is a fire hazard and may cause dangerous Carbon Monoxide to build up in the house.
- Tree limbs that hang over or are close to your house should be checked and trimmed if necessary. It is also a good idea to have your trees inspected. Even the hardiest looking tree may have a few flaws that influence the tree's strength. Call a professional arborist or landscaper to have a look at any trees that concern you.
- Check your retaining walls for instability. You should look for new cracks or cracks that are increasing in size.
- Make sure that your walkways are not slip hazards and are free of debris. Look for algae deposits on walkways and make sure that hand rails on stairs are secure.
- Talk with your neighbors about any precautions you are taking. You may find that a precaution you take will cause a different problem to your neighbor's property.
- Finally, check your emergency procedures and stock up on any materials that you may need in the event of a flood or an emergency. These materials could include plastic for roofs or slopes and sandbags. Remember to review emergency plans with all members of the household.
After storms you should check your property for any damage or situations that have the potential to become dangerous. If you see any downed power lines stay away from them and call 911 and Southern California Edison at (800) 684-8123.
Check slopes to ensure there is no erosion, cracking, or substantial mudflow. Additional information is available in the Public Works Department on the “Care and Protection of Hillside Homes” pamphlet and on the website: Hillside Rain Care
Precautions are our best defense against the weather. Take the time to look at your property and make any necessary changes. If you should have any questions, please contact the Building and Engineering Divisions.
If you should need to make emergency repairs to a slope, building, or other structure, please do so but remember a permit may be required. If repairs are necessary during non-business hours you must come into the Building and Engineering Division to obtain a permit the next business day. The Building and Engineering Divisions are located in room 215 on the second floor of City Hall and open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you are unsure whether a permit is required for your repairs, please call (626) 939-8425 to verify.
PREPARE FOR FLOODING
- Try and move furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
- Make sure your car’s gas tank is full in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible. You may have only a short time to get to safety. Act quickly.
- Listen to warnings about flooded roadways that may present a hazard. Do not drive around barricades, they are there for your safety.
- Do not try to drive through flooded intersections or other flooded road conditions. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
- Use common sense at all times.
THE DANGER OF FAST MOVING WATER
Many accidental drownings occur from fast moving water, particularly during heavy down pours. Six inches of fast moving water is enough to knock an adult off their feet. It is important to stay away from any area that contains water, particularly fast moving water. Children should be reminded to stay away from drainage areas where water can be faster and deeper than anticipated.
In the event of a power outage during a storm turn off all the lights and electrical equipment. Keep a flashlight close by so that you can easily find it in the dark. Avoid lighting your home with candles and never heat your home with barbecues or any other hazardous instruments. Both candles and barbecues are fire hazards and using a barbecue for heat can result in the build up of deadly carbon monoxide in the home.
If you experience an emergency during a power outage, call 911.
For more information, visit: on.sce.com/staysafe
Free sandbags and sand are available at the following West Covina Fire Stations:
Fire Station 2:
Fire Station 4:
Fire Station 5:
For additional information please visit the page regarding Sandbags
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
City of West Covina (626) 939-8400
- Building/Engineering Divisions (626) 939-8425
- Maintenance Division (626) 939-8458
- Police Department Non-Emergency (626) 939-8500
- Fire Department Non-Emergency (626) 939-8584
Report a Downed Tree in the Street or Right of Way in the City of West Covina
- During Normal Business Hours - Maintenance Division (626) 939-8458
- After Hours and Weekends - Police Department (626) 939-8500
Southern California Edison Company (800) 684-8123
Southern California Gas Company
- Residential (800) 427-2200
- Commercial (800) 427-2000
Athens Disposal Services (626) 336-6100
Charter Communications (866) 499-8080
- Azusa Light & Water Department (626) 812-5225
- Covina Water Company (626) 858-7246
- Rowland Water District (562) 697-1726
- San Gabriel Water District (626) 459-4270
- Suburban Water Systems (626) 543-2640
- Valencia Heights Water Company (626) 332-8935
- Valley County Water District (626) 338-7301
- Walnut Valley Water District (626) 964-6551