Flood Control Channels Pose Serious Danger for Angelenos

January 24, 2000

Monday, January 24, 2000

With seasonal rains now here, the Los Angeles Police Department is reminding the residents of Los Angeles of the serious danger associated with flood control channels. When it rains in Los Angeles, the flood control channels fill up very quickly and create devastating conditions for anyone caught in the channels’ path. The public is reminded that wet or dry, it is always against the law to be in a flood control channel and the LAPD strictly enforces this law.

This month, the LAPD is releasing a flyer entitled "Flood Control Channel Safety Circular," which is now available at all 18 Community Police Stations. The flyer is part of a monthly series of Crime Prevention Circulars made available by the LAPD to the public.

Commander David J. Kalish, the Department’s spokesperson stated, "Every year, people are caught in the torrential waters of the flood control channels. Sometimes they are saved and sometimes they are not. The unbelievable part of this tragedy is that it is completely preventable."

If YOU fall into a flood control channel, remember the following:

Remain calm and get ready to be rescued.
Try to float on your back with your legs straight and feet pointing downstream.
Use your legs to push AWAY from obstacles or debris. While it may be a natural reaction to want to cling to an object, most deaths occur because the victim becomes pinned against an object or submerged in debris.
Keep your head up so that you can see where you are going.

If you witness SOMEONE fall into a flood control channel, remember the following:

NEVER get into the water with the victim!
DO NOT pull the victim out with your hands or a rope. YOU WILL ALSO BE PULLED INTO THE WATER!
If available, throw a flotation device, such as a basketball or ice chest, to the victim.

Remember, stay away from flood control channels. It is not only against the law to be in them, but it is deadly.

For more information or to obtain copies of Crime Prevention Circulars, contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

For Release 2:50 pm PST
January 24, 2000