News from around the Ojai Valley

When floods hit, we are on our own

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
Faced with the risk of flooding and debris flows in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire, residents of the Ojai Valley need to prepare for possible isolation this winter.
So warns Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston, recalling the destruction caused by catastrophic flooding nearly 50 years ago.
Johnston said he’s worried that heavy rainfall and flooding could close roads for extended periods, as they did during the El Niño storms of 1998 and 2005.
“In 1969 we were totally isolated,” said Johnston, referring to storms that dumped 47 inches of rain in January and February of that year.
The flooding washed away roads, fields, houses, bridges and, for the last time, the railroad tracks between Ojai and Ventura.

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