COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I want to acknowledge the superb effort put forth by the employees of Crescenta Valley Water District during the Station fire. Quick action at the beginning of this event put the water district ahead and the continued focus on keeping our water system fully supplied served the community well.

When this fire flared up, and turned toward La Crescenta, the water district personnel responded to management call-in, and the district was fully staffed in a very short time. When water district officials realized the event would last several days, personnel responded to the deployment of a 24-hour operation without hesitation.

The visual presence of water district employees in the community gave reassurance to our customers that water would be available if and when it was needed by the firefighters. It was also comforting to those who remained behind in the evacuation areas to see our district trucks making regular inspection trips to the upper reservoirs.

Right after the smoke was spotted, the water district began pumping the maximum flow possible to our upper reservoirs. In the following days, crews were instructed to distribute emergency generators to the most critical pumping stations so we would have the ability to continue to pump to the upper reservoirs if we lost power. These units were in place and ready, if needed, to keep our water moving uphill.

We set up fire hoses at each of the reservoirs where the generators were located for local fire suppression. All upper reservoir sites were unlocked, but gates closed, in the event the Fire Department needed to fill pumpers from our reservoirs.

On Friday and Saturday night briefings, it was very gratifying to see the willingness of district staff to work extended hours and go the extra mile to be sure our customers had the best possible support under the circumstances.

Now that the fire danger is gone in our communities, early assessments of Crescenta Valley Water District facilities show that damage to our property is relatively minor. One of our reservoirs suffered the loss of a communication line when the pole for this overhead line burned in one of the backfires, and one of our access roads has been damaged due to loss of retaining wall support. Otherwise our assets are in good condition

Our staff has performed courageously, and we can be very proud of them. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the citizens served by Crescenta Valley Water District, thank you!


 VASKEN YARDEMIAN is a La Crescenta resident and president of the Crescenta Valley Water District Board of Directors.

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