Once again, a volume of rainfall considered “manageably heavy” anywhere else in the world has paralyzed Greater Los Angeles. Today it rained 2.4 inches. That’s a lot of rain, but it’s not End-of-the-World-Where’s-The-Ark levels…unless you live here.

In the Los Angeles area, the wash systems (sewers and drains) are built to accomodate the volume of water generated by a wasteful idiot, too lazy to rake or broom sweep his driveway. You know, that chap who aims his hose at the concrete and stands there watering the sidewalk clean of all those awful leaves…

Anything more than that, or more than the amount of water needed to regularly wash one’s blinged-out SUV (with those great new spinning hub caps), overwhelms the system. Drains backup, and street sides flood. Less than an hour after it began raining today, I drove through a section of town where the cars parked on the side were actually submerged up above the TOP of the wheels!

In the Los Angeles area, there exist a system of dips at most intersections, ostensibly designed to slow vehicular traffic in the same way speed bumps do along residential streets. It works during the other 360 dry days of the year. It works too well when it rains. Giant lakes 12 inches (or more) deep form at these intersections, which sounds fun unless you’re the one diving…uh, I mean driving though it.

In the Los Angeles area, the idea of porous tarmac, white paving, and other sustainability practices simply has not taken hold. Perhaps, one day, someone with some influence might choose to repeat that suggestion about larger drain systems and porous tarmac…


The above footage was taken by a 15-year old boy in the Los Angeles area today. Granted, the issue extends beyond drainage, in to the realm of wildfire prevention and erosion control. The point remains, however, that this is not a new phenomenon!

The forecast calls for heavy rain every day, for the rest of the week.

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