People living along the Los Angeles River bike path were told to pack up and go elsewhere throughout the day Tuesday as city and county crews worked to sweep out encampments after Tropical Storm Hilary hit the area over the weekend.
The sweep was conducted by Long Beach Public Works, the Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Public Works.
Sean McCarty, who is unhoused, said Tuesday morning that he was “pushed out from under the bridge” a few days after signs notifying people of the sweep appeared.
McCarty said that he was simply told to leave and that no other services or options were offered to him.
The sweep comes days after preparation for Tropical Storm Hilary prompted the city to increase resources and shelter beds for the city’s unhoused population. On Sunday, the city said it was conducting “extensive outreach” along the riverbeds “to engage and educate people about safety concerns and help connect people seeking shelter to safer places to sleep.”
“The timing was not great because we had just done outreach for Tropical Storm Hilary,” Joy Contreras, a spokesperson for Long Beach Public Works told the Post. “This was a previously scheduled clean up from LA Public Works and we followed our protocol, having LBPD, Public Works, and the Health Department on hand to support the cleanup.”
LBPD and LACPW confirmed that the post-storm sweep was happening on Tuesday, but both agencies declined to elaborate any further.
“LBPD officers are at the riverbed cleanup to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved. For further questions on the cleanup itself, we defer to the LA County Public Works,” Eric Stachura, an LBPD spokesperson said.
LACPW also declined to comment on the nature of the sweep.
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