Despite promises, California doesn’t know how many people died in record summer heat wave
After making national headlines with an emergency declaration, the governor declares an “evacuation” from Los Angeles
A man walks on a street covered with water and ice in L.A. on Tuesday, July 23. Photo: Paul Chinn / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of emergency Tuesday. It’s the first time the city, the nation’s fifth-largest, has done so for extreme heat earlier this summer.
“We’re at a moment of extreme urgency,” Garcetti said in an afternoon press conference, as emergency managers began rolling out their response to severe heat in the second-largest city.
The declaration is intended to provide additional resources and help residents affected by the heat. Meanwhile, the city said it will continue to monitor conditions, as well as to issue updates as needed. The state is providing assistance to about 9,000 low-income residents and the public works department has already begun providing drinking water to residents in need.
A man holds a baby on the roof of their apartment in Compton Tuesday, July 23, 2017. Photo: Paul Chinn / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles’ official death toll rose to 813 Tuesday from 684 the day before. That makes it the second deadliest city in the country this year, after Houston. The city had previously reported a total of 833 deaths.
The city, which has been hit by heat waves and wildfires in recent years, had declared a public health emergency Friday. Then, on Saturday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti declared that the city was on edge after two more heat waves had hit the area.
Then, early Tuesday morning, Garcetti issued another emergency declaration. In his statement, Garcetti acknowledged the need for more help from state and local governments, but said Los Angeles and the surrounding communities won’t be ignored.