The LA County’s climate vulnerability assessment paints a worrying picture

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – More than half of Los Angeles County’s residents – approximately 5.7 million people – live in communities “severely exposed” now and through 2050, according to a county chief released today Study sustainability office.

Impending threats include extreme heat, forest fires, inland flooding, extreme rainfall, coastal flooding, and drought, according to LA County’s climate vulnerability rating.

The 141-page document found that an estimated 56% of the county’s residents are exposed to such current and projected changes in exposure through 2050 to climate vulnerability, as well as limited ability to withstand and weather future threats. ”

These parishes make up nearly 17% of the county’s population, the report said.

The researchers highlighted 47 “communities of concern” facing the dual dangers of “increased exposure to climate hazards and high vulnerability to adverse effects”.

These communities included East Los Angeles, South Gate, Bellflower, Long Beach, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Reseda, and Winnetka in the San Fernando Valley; and Montebello, the Westlake and Crenshaw counties; and North Lancaster, Hi Vista and Roosevelt in the Antelope Valley.

Factors included in this assessment were homelessness and employment conditions such as warehouse workplaces where workers are usually indoors but still exposed to hazardous conditions such as heat.

The report found that the most serious climate impacts forecast by 2050 include:

– a tenfold increase in extreme heat waves;

– a doubling of the population, extremely vulnerable to extreme heat;

– Mega droughts that lasted for several decades;

– almost 20% of properties are at risk of flooding during a major storm;

– more extreme fluctuations between drought and rain – likely to lead to flash floods and landslides;

– seas rising 2.5 feet on local coasts;

– and a 40 percent increase in forest fires in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Officials said the report will be used as a guide to future priorities under the county’s sustainability plan, including increasing the canopy of trees in low-income urban areas and future infrastructure spending.

The state government has allocated nearly $ 15 billion over the next three years to help California communities prepare for extreme weather and climate-related disasters, the county said.

“By identifying the people and places that will have the worst effects of climate change, and highlighting the urgency to make our communities more resilient to climate change, this will inspire real action between district authorities, our many community partners and jurisdictions across the region ” said Hilda Solis, the district board chairwoman.

Supervisor Holly Mitchell added, “This assessment underscores the urgent need to do everything in our power to reduce the threat of climate change harm that will disproportionately affect low-income and color communities. We have the opportunity to incorporate the shared insights into our strategies to proactively strengthen our infrastructure and protect our most endangered neighborhoods and residents. ”

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl called the report “deeply troubling” but said it “gives us an invaluable planning document with the analysis we need now to mitigate and avoid the potential negative impact on our local county councils.”

Supervisor Janice Hahn added, “While we know places like Long Beach and San Pedro will face rising tides, and Bellflower and the surrounding communities will experience extreme heat, we also know we can avoid it by taking action today Reducing emissions and preparing our communities are having the worst impact. This report reminds us that we need to renew our efforts. “

Head of Department Kathryn Barger said: “The vulnerability and criticality assessment of our power infrastructure was an interesting result of this comprehensive study and underscores the need for partnership and collaboration in our efforts to improve grid reliability.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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