Letters to the Editor: High marks for L.A.’s preparation for Tropical Storm Hilary

Volunteers and firefighters fill sandbags at Belmont Shore Beach in Long Beach.
Volunteers and firefighters fill sandbags at Belmont Shore Beach in Long Beach on Sunday, before Tropical Storm Hilary moved through Southern California.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: I am an 85-year-old native Angeleno who between family, work, play and some community activism has always found time and reason to criticize governmental entities and bureaucracies. Very few have escaped my wrath regardless of their political affiliation or social or economic philosophies. (“Hilary leaves massive flooding, mudslides, upheaval across Southern California,” Aug. 21)

While most of my efforts were to no avail, every once in a while a small victory sustained my belief that you can in fact fight City Hall.

However, I am pleased and quite thankful that the preparation for, handling of and performance of these entities prior to, during and after Tropical Storm Hilary came to Southern California were nothing short of highly commendable.


I will still continue to complain and nitpick as in the past about real or imagined governmental shortcomings. But with respect to the manner in which Hilary was handled, I have nothing but high praise.

Marshall Barth, Encino


To the editor: I have been a professional meteorologist for 60 years. Weather should be put in perspective.

While climate change is likely a factor, and it is true that Hilary making landfall in Southern California was exceptional, tropical cyclones are not new to this part of the world.

In fact, the Pacific Ocean off the Mexican coast is the world’s second-most frequent source of tropical storms and hurricanes. Most of them form rapidly then weaken when they encounter cooler waters as they typically move to the west.

Early and especially later in the season, some re-curve toward Baja or Southern California, weakening as they go. We have experienced many of these remnants over the years, and it has been well documented by meteorologists over the decades.


Jay Rosenthal, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: The front-page picture of the Sunday Times is of sandbags being filled on the beach in Long Beach. But unnoted is that the workers are mostly L.A. County lifeguards, men and women in their red suits, doing the work.

A little credit is deserved here. Since The Times didn’t give it, I thought I would.

Kelley Willis, Venice