Los Angeles River with water in it


Los Angeles River near downtown this morning. Click to enlarge. Photo: Don Bentley The drought has gone on so long that there are no doubt new Angelenos who have never seen the concrete Los Angeles River full of water. They only know the trickle of runoff, much of it from the Tillman sewage treatment plant in the Sepulveda Dam Basin, that people now like to kayak in. Well, this morning's rain was heavy enough to give people a hint of what El Niño might be like this winter.

This scene, above, is near downtown — raging and approaching half full with just one morning's drenching. The kind of prolonged El Niño storm sieges that occur periodically in LA (or used to…) can easily fill the river channel right to the brim. I've seen it both here — which is downstream from major tributaries such as the Arroyo Seco and Tujunga Wash — and occasionally upstream in the Valley where the wide, concrete gash in the landscape, below, looks ridiculous most of the time. In those major storm sequences, the Sepulveda Basin, built to stop flooding on the LA River, will be closed to the public and the water allowed to back up across Burbank Boulevard and the golf courses and wildlife refuge.

Read more at laobserved.com