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RAGING WATERS: Ventura County’s reservoirs are filling...

RAGING WATERS: Ventura County’s reservoirs are filling fast. . . . The torrential rain has brought Lake Casitas to about 10,000 acre-feet shy of its 254,000 acre-foot capacity. An acre-foot is enough to cover a field one-acre square with a foot of water. . . . At its peak, the Freeman Conversion Dam was overflowing at the rate of about 107,000 cubic feet per second. “We’re at almost 400% of normal January rainfall,” said Frederick J. Gientke of the United Water Conservation District. But saving water is still crucial. “We’ll always go through heavy rainfall periods and light rainfall periods,” he said.

SOGGY LINKS: What a difference a big drainpipe makes, say officials at Camarillo Springs Golf Course. . . . The course’s drainage system was replaced last year with pipes three times bigger than the old ones. Still, flooding in the area was significant enough to threaten closure of the nearby Ventura Freeway. Without the new system, golf course officials said, things could have been much worse. “The problem is with the storms we keep getting every day,” said pro shop assistant Dan Meeks. . . . Being in a runoff area at the base of the Conejo Grade doesn’t help either.

BE PREPARED: Hardy Southern Californians have been through enough turmoil in recent years--not to mention the last few days--to know that preparing for disaster is more than just a good idea. . . . Despite vows in the days after last year’s Northridge earthquake, however, some residents were slow to get their disaster kits together (Ventura County Life, Page 8). “The question is, are you prepared to survive survival?” asked Brian Bolton of the Red Cross.

RAIN BREAKS: Ventura County residents who suffered losses in the floods are eligible for special tax breaks, the IRS announced. . . . Taxpayers may claim the loss on either their 1994 or 1995 tax returns. Early birds who’ve already filed 1994 returns may amend them. For more information, call (800) 829-4477.

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