So Pas Escapes Relatively Unscathed from Severe Storm

So Pas escaped relatively unscathed from the recent rainstorm that pounded the region and officials applaud local residents for being prepared. Photo by Henk Friezer

As the first storm of the season has passed through the region, wreaking havoc in some areas with mudslides, road closures, and power outages, South Pasadena has escaped relatively unscathed from the deluge.

The four-day storm dropped two to three inches of rain in a single 24-hour period in some areas and produced just under two inches of rain for the So Pas area, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the steady downpour caused flooding and mudslides in the recent areas ravaged by wildfires and other issues like collapsed buildings and power outages, officials here say it’s been unusually quiet, “knock on wood.”

“We have been, knock on wood, very quiet with calls related to the storm,” said So Pas Fire Chief Paul Riddle in a telephone interview with The Review. “We’ve had three rain-related calls and they were arching wires that turned out to be minor. Edison came out and took care of it.”

Riddle attributed the lack of any storm-related emergencies to, besides luck, preparedness.

“Our residents are very good at being prepared for these storms,” he said. “I want to thank them for cleaning out their rain gutters and drains and anything that would cause us to respond. They do a great job.”

South Pasadena police report that the area did not suffer any huge problems because of the recent rainstorms, saying motorists drove slower and cautious. Photo by Henk Friezer

He also mentioned that the ground here has not been saturated, which also cuts down on any flooding.

Riddle also said he saw a huge rush of residents come pick up sandbags prior to the storm and believes that helped reduce any rain-related issues.

“Our residents were well prepared,” he said. “They were proactive and it helps. We still have plenty of sandbags here at the station.” The sandbags are free, he added.

So Pas police also say it has been quiet through the storms, which usually cause an uptick in traffic accidents.

During the four-day storm from Monday to Thursday police report there have been two non-injury traffic collisions, three injury traffic collisions, two fallen trees and two minor power outages.

“It’s pretty ironic because the last four days we would usually see an increase in traffic accidents and we have not,” Robert Bartl said in an interview with The Review. “It’s been pretty quiet. There hasn’t been any property damage that we know of, no down power lines. It has been very quiet.”

Bartl also said motorists are paying more attention now as they drive in inclement weather.

“People are driving slower and paying attention to the wet streets,” Bartl  said. “They are paying attention to their surroundings and that’s important.”

Bartl said speed is the most important thing when driving in inclement weather.

“Slow down,” he said. “That’s the most important aspect. Slow down. Streets are slick. There is debris in the road. Understand the dangers of wet roads and pay attention to your surroundings.”

The forecast for the next several days is dryer conditions with no rain in sight until the first week in February, according to the National Weather Service.