By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
As of mid-day Friday, August 18, Hurricane Hilary has intensified and is now a Category 4 hurricane heading toward the Southern California region with an expected landfall on Sunday, August 20.
While the storm will likely weaken before it hits land, the City of Newport Beach is preparing for a significant storm event, with the high level of precaution we would typically take during the winter.
This week, the City’s Public Works and Utility department crews began implementing winter storm precautions, including rebuilding the Balboa Pier area sand berm, installing additional sand berms from B Street to the Wedge, checking and cleaning storm drain systems, and providing residents with free sandbags.
Fortunately, the ocean tides are expected to be relatively low on Sunday, which should allow for more efficient drainage in low-lying areas of the Peninsula and Balboa Island. City crews will be deployed to pump out any flooded areas as needed. However, some localized flooding should be expected if there are heavy rains.
Wheel loaders — heavy equipment used to move large amounts of sand — are staged at the Balboa Pier and Santa Ana River jetty area to build additional berms or raise existing ones. The City’s tree contractor team is on standby to address any fallen trees or significant broken limbs. In addition, the City’s inflatable dam, which helps reduce wave impact on the shore, is ready to be deployed in the ocean.
In addition to these precautionary efforts, our Police, Fire, Lifeguard and Harbor Department personnel will be on high alert and ready to address any events or issues that may arise from heavy rains or high wind conditions. We are prepared to activate the City’s Emergency Operation Center and utilize our emergency messaging systems as needed.
An important word of caution to beachgoers: Know your limits. Consider this a severe weather event with unpredictable ocean conditions, including rip currents and heavy surf. Swimmers, surfers and bodyboarders are advised to check in with lifeguards and use extreme caution in the water. In the event of lightning or thunder, exit the water and beach immediately.
Balboa Peninsula Trolley Service Cancelled on Sunday.
Hilary’s impacts may very well degrade as the storm moves north, with reduced impacts by the time it reaches Newport Beach. However, the City is prepared and ready to manage a heavy storm if the hurricane hits our area at a significant strength.
For the most current storm tracking information for Hurricane Hilary, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_ep4+shtml/150034.shtml.
Several Homes Lost, Damaged in Aug. 16 Mobile Home Park Fire
Three homes were lost in a fire on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Beach/Bay Mobile Home Park at 7204 W. Coast Hwy., and three other homes were damaged. Fortunately there were no injuries as a result of the blaze.
The Newport Beach Fire Department was dispatched at around 9:35 a.m. Initial units observed heavy smoke and a second alarm was ordered, triggering a response for additional units.
Fire crews acted quickly to extinguish the fire, provide structure defense, initiate environmental protection, and evacuate residents in the affected area.
In total, 15 fire units and more than 40 personnel responded to the incident from several departments, including Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue, Huntington Beach Fire Department and Fountain Valley Fire Department.
The Newport Beach Police Department assisted with traffic and crowd control, and City Public Works staff assisted in mitigating adverse impacts to the environment. The Red Cross responded to assist with displaced victims. One patient was transported to the hospital for reasons unrelated to the incident.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Lunch and Learn Event to Cover Senior Resources Sept. 27 at OASIS
OASIS Senior Center hosts a Lunch and Learn event on Wednesday, Sept. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Learn about the Medi-Cal Renewal profess and the CalFresh program. Community resources for basic needs, mental health, food, caregiver resources and more will be available. Free lunch is generously sponsored by Lauren Kleiman, Newport Beach Council Member for District 6, and provided by AgeWell. There will be an opportunity drawing for gift baskets. RSVP by Friday, Sept. 22 by calling (714) 644-3244 or via email at OASIScenter@newportbeachca.gov.
Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update
The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.
This week, the Be Well team:
- Transported a person to the Be Well sobering station for treatment.
- Transported an unhoused person to a substance use treatment facility after resolving a mental health crisis.
- Transported a person to a mental health treatment facility.
- Transported a person to a safe location after resolving a mental health crisis.
- Collaborated with the Newport Beach Fire Department for a medical transport after resolving a mental health crisis.
- Educated tourists and residents on the Be Well OC services and campus.
To reach Be Well: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717.
This week the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:
- Collaborated with the Anaheim Be Well team to provide in-home services for a newly housed client.
- Completed a new client intake and scheduled an appointment for the OC Rescue Mission program.
- Met with a client to process an appeal letter to the Orange County Housing Authority for a declined apartment application.
- Met with a client to process paperwork with the Orange County Housing Authority.
- Collaborated with the Orange County Healthcare Agency to locate housing for a client with a housing voucher.
- Completed a referral for a couple to the Yale Navigation Center.
- Continued to shelter people. Nineteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/monthly-homeless-count.
Click here for information on the City’s Good Giving program: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.
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Source: Newport Beach Independent