While the current rainfall is certainly a long-awaited event in Southern California, Long Beach residents should take precautions to steer clear of all our beaches and the dirty, bacteria-ridden runoff caused by this temporary downpour.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a rain advisory for all beaches on Monday, December 1, urging potential beach goers to avoid the water for at least 72 hours because of harmful bacteria levels caused by significant rainfall. The rain advisory will be in effect until Thursday, December 4, but may be extended depending on continuing rainfall.
Runoff due to significant rainfall can create a dangerous concoction of “trash, animal waste, pesticides, automotive fluids and human-gastrointestinal viruses,” according to a report released by Heal the Bay. Runoff from the first major rainfall of the season, especially following such drought-apparent weather, washes more than a month’s worth of this “brew” off our sidewalks and roadways into storm drains, which lead straight to our county’s bodies of water.
Bacteria levels in ocean waters may remain elevated for up to three days after the rainfall has ceased, according to the health department. Such bacteria may cause illness, especially in children and the elderly. Please avoid the ocean, flowing storm drains and any other bodies or currents of water in your area.