It’s a crappy situation.
Non-stop pounding rain from a “Pineapple Express” storm caused a massive sewage spill into Los Angeles County streets and beaches, with health officials warning residents to stay away from coastal waters.
About eight million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Dominguez Channel — a nearly 16-mile river that runs through Carson, Calif. — which originated from two sewer locations, sanitation officials said.
The unprecedented rainfall, which brought anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of rain across Los Angeles, caused the overflow of raw sewage.
“The problem has been an extremely unusual amount of rainwater leaking into the county sewer system causing more flow than some sewer pipelines can handle,” LA County Sanitation District spokesman Bryan Langpap told the LA Times.
On Tuesday, the overflow of sewage escaped manhole covers about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
The solid waste discharged into the Dominguez Channel and Compton Creek, which leads to the Los Angeles River and ends at Cabrillo Beach.
Public Health officials sent out a warning to avoid LA County beaches at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. Officials extended the rain and health warning advisories through Wednesday.
County Health officials said they are testing waters off Cabrillo Beach for bacteria, which usually survive in saltwater for up to three days and can cause diarrhea and other health issues.
“Water contact during a rain advisory may cause illness, especially in children, the elderly and susceptible people,” Public Health officials said. “Bacteria levels may take 72 hours or more to return to normal after heavy rainfall.
“At all times, beach users are cautioned to avoid water contact near flowing creeks and storm drains.”
LA County has endured prior raw sewage incidents in the same areas, including in December 2021 when a mainline ruptured and spilled millions of gallons of raw sewage in a residential neighborhood in Carson and into the Dominguez Channel before the bacteria-filled waters emptied into the Pacific Ocean.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 520 cases of mudslides in Los Angeles, with 13 buildings and homes ‘red tagged’, meaning they were at risk of collapse.
More than 7 billion gallons of stormwater has been captured in Los Angeles alone since the beginning of Sunday’s storm event, according to LA city officials.
Rescue teams were also busy throughout LA County on Wednesday.
Two homeless people were evacuated Monday from a small island in the Santa Ana River in San Bernardino, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles, authorities said.
The LA Fire Department had to use a helicopter on Monday to rescue a man who jumped into the Los Angeles River to save his dog.
The dog managed to swim safely to the edge of the water and was brought to a local shelter for treatment. The man, who was dramatically airlifted from the raging waters, also survived and was treated at a local hospital.
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