Here are the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, August 21, 2023.
Hurricane Hilary passes through Long Beach over the weekend
Hurricane Hilary brought heavy rain, strong winds, and increased swells along the oceanfront and throughout the city this past weekend, with the heaviest rainfall occurring on Sunday, August 20. Residents living along the oceanfront peninsula are most vulnerable to high tides and flooding and were urged by the city to take precautionary measures such as sealing or protecting low-lying spots with sandbags.
Here’s what you need to know about sandbags and sand distribution for storms in the future:
- Sandbags are available at all neighborhood Fire Stations.
- Sand and sandbags are accessible at specific Long Beach Fire Stations and the Lifeguard Station at 72nd Place and Ocean Boulevard.
- Long Beach residents are eligible for sandbags. Up to 10 bags can be collected per person, with ID required. Bringing a shovel or tool for collection is recommended.
During heavy rainfall, remember to:
- Check the Recreational Water Monitoring webpage for beach advisories, as high bacterial levels can follow significant rainfall.
- Refrain from driving through flooded roads or walking across flowing streams.
- Secure personal property and vehicles in flood-prone areas.
- Inform others of your travel plans during the storm.
- Be cautious of utility workers and stay away from sand berms and city machinery along the coastline.
- Place refuse and recycling carts on the parkway or driveway apron.
Sign up for Alert Long Beach to receive emergency notifications. For street sweeping updates, call 562.570.2890 or follow @LBPublicWorks on social media.
Learn more here.
Long Beach opened emergency shelter for Catalina Island evacuees ahead of Hurricane Hilary
In response to the approach of Hurricane Hilary, classified as a Category 3 storm heading towards California, residents of Catalina Island were urged to leave the island as a precautionary measure. To assist those evacuating, the City of Long Beach set up a temporary shelter at Silverado Park (1545 W. 31st St.), offering essential support for up to 75 individuals who have left the island and lack alternative shelter plans during this unprecedented weather event. The emergency shelter provides essential necessities such as food, water, beds, and basic medical services. The shelter will continue to operate until authorities determine it is safe to return to the island. Shelter attendees will undergo medical assessments upon arrival and will have access to services including meals, water, hygiene facilities, beds, and supplies for those evacuating with pets. This shelter is exclusively available for residents and visitors evacuating Catalina Island. With its proximity of only 22 miles, Long Beach is well-equipped to receive evacuees from the island’s population of around 4,200. Silverado Park was chosen as the emergency shelter location due to its proximity to the Catalina Express, its role as the largest emergency shelter in the City’s plan, and its equipped facilities for evacuees. The park’s regular programming was unaffected this weekend, and the City will notify registered attendees of any potential impacts due to the shelter or the impending storm. Hurricane Hilary is anticipated to continue through the rest of today, Monday, August 21. The city has issued a public notice offering storm preparation guidance for residents. Learn more here.
Long Beach welcomes new Admiral Kidd Park Playground with grand opening
On Saturday, Long Beach welcomed a brand-new playground located at Admiral Kidd Park in West Long Beach. Following the fire that destroyed the previous playground in July 2021, a fundraising campaign was launched by Partners of Parks (POP), a local nonprofit. POP, along with sponsors like Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles Refinery and Amazon.com Services LLC, managed to raise around $486,000, ensuring the playground’s rebuild and enhancements. With additional support from Measure A infrastructure funding and grants, the reconstruction of the park was completed. The newly enhanced nautical-themed children’s play area boasts attractions such as a zip-line, multi-user swings, and inclusive features. Safety measures including shade structures and improved lighting have been incorporated. Contributions from organizations such as the New L Family Fund, Long Beach Economic Partnership, Junior League of Long Beach, Earl B. and the Loraine H. Miller Foundation, Port of Long Beach, and Bess J Hodges Foundation have also played a pivotal role in bringing the new Admiral Kidd Park Playground to fruition. Learn more here.
Long Beach engages communities in updating Downtown Shoreline plans
The Long Beach Development Services Department is seeking input on updating land use plans in Downtown and the waterfront areas. The aim is to modernize development regulations, especially Downtown, and establish a shared vision for the future of the Downtown Shoreline region. The northern part of Downtown will be renewed to emphasize preventing tenant displacement and constructing housing across income levels, including affordable options. Conversely, planning regulations for the area south of Ocean Boulevard have remained largely unchanged since the 1970s. The initial project phase involves a visioning process to comprehend stakeholder expectations and create a contemporary community vision for the waterfront. An in-person open house event is scheduled on September 9, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Billie Jean King Main Library, providing a platform for public input. Interpretation services will be accessible, and materials will be offered in multiple languages. The open house is part of a broader engagement series to gather feedback from Downtown and Shoreline communities. These updated plans are anticipated to be presented to the Long Beach City Council for review in 2025. Additional details are available at longbeach.gov/DTLBplan. Learn more here.
Long Beach seeks help to mass distribute water to people experiencing homelessness
The City of Long Beach’s Homeless Services Bureau (HSB) is working to improve access to vital resources for homeless individuals by distributing cases of water through local community-based organizations. Organizations and advocates interested in participating in distributing water can submit a water donation request form. Upon approval, community-based organizations will be guided to collect cases of water at the City’s Multi-Service Center (MSC) on weekdays for distribution through their existing outreach channels. The quantity of cases provided aligns with each organization’s outreach needs, with a maximum of 20 cases per pickup. Organizations seeking other donated items like hygiene kits, clothing, and sun protection can also submit a donation request form. The primary aim of this initiative is to provide vital hydration and essentials, especially during the hot summer months, to those in need, considering the elevated temperatures in Long Beach and the region. Water bottles are also distributed to homeless individuals during interactions with HSB staff as part of citywide service outreach. Community-based organizations with inquiries can reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org or 562.570.4636. The City is actively ensuring Long Beach-based organizations are aware of this opportunity. Learn more here.