By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– On Oct. 13, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works hosted a meeting with state and federal environmental resource agencies and County departments to discuss El Niño and the impacts of the predicted storms on San Bernardino County.
There was a consensus that the widely forecast El Niño is real and that a proactive approach to prepare a number of key flood control facilities is in the best interest of the public. Public Works outlined an aggressive schedule to perform the minimum maintenance work necessary to ensure that the key facilities are operating with enough capacity to deal with the El Niño storms that are forecast for this winter.
The scope of work selected for each flood control facility were reduced as much as possible to protect the sensitive species and habitat often found in flood control facilities while still providing flood protection to the adjacent communities.
The resource agencies agreed to collaborate with Public Works on its approach that treats the El Niño forecast as an emergency that requires immediate response. The meeting was an excellent example of how government agencies with different missions and goals can rally together for the common good of the public they serve.
“The cooperation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards has been amazing,” said Gerry Newcombe, Director of Public Works.
DPW immediately submitted expedited environmental permit applications and started its storm preparation maintenance activities on Oct. 22. Work in more than half of the 37 critical flood control channels/basins has been completed and, weather permitting, DPW expects to finish the majority of these flood preparation activities by the end of December.
For further information please contact Public Works at 909-387-8063.