U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
Jan. 11, 2008
Contact: Interior, Chris Paolino/Joan
Moody (202) 208-6416
USGS, Stephanie Hanna
(206) 818-7411


Secretary Kempthorne to Tour Southern California Areas Where USGS Webcams and Field Research Aim to Provide Early Warnings of Mudslides

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will tour the Malibu area on Monday, Jan. 14, to examine the most recent landslide research, field instruments, webcams and other tools being used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to predict dangerous mudslides. USGS is working nonstop to provide early warning information and maps that can be used to plan evacuations that could save lives and increase public safety during winter storm and rainfall events in Southern California.

Joining the Secretary will be the Vickie Nadolski, deputy assistant administrator of the National Weather Service, and USGS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. NOAA is also bringing the "Smart-R" mobile Doppler Radar truck.

During the Secretary's visit, media representatives are invited to join him on a hike into Winter Canyon to see USGS debris flow instruments, as well as a stream gage and a new webcam on Malibu Creek. These vital tools are being used by USGS and its partners to provide information to first responders and to alert agencies in Southern California burn areas of threats.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
Vickie Nadolski, National Weather Service Deputy Assistant Administrator
Anne Kinsinger, USGS Regional Director
Lucy Jones, USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Program Director
Other USGS and NOAA experts
What: Tour of landslide and flood danger areas In the wake of the effects of Southern California's devastating 2007 fires, USGS and NOAA's National Weather Service have installed an array of instruments to determine rates and thresholds of rainfall that cause debris flows that can injure or kill residents and destroy property. Two intensive research sites are located in canyons in the Malibu area, and USGS scientists are expanding their research to other dangerous canyons in Southern California. They have installed a number of new stream gages and web cameras in this effort.
When: Monday, January 14, 2008
9:00 - 12:00 p.m. as follows:
9:00 a.m. Media wishing to tour NOAA's Smart-R truck are invited to arrive at 9:00 a.m. or return following the tour of USGS instrumentation with Secretary Kempthorne.
9:30 a.m. - Secretary Kempthorne briefly tours Smart-R truck.
9:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Drive in pool vans to Winter Canyon, hike with the Secretary to see USGS intensive debris flow monitoring instruments, then drive to Malibu Creek to view new webcam and stream gage in operation.
12:00 p.m. - Media representatives are returned to vehicles left in the City Hall parking lot.
Where: First location, Malibu City Hall parking lot, then consolidate into vans for trip into Winter Canyon and down to Malibu Creek. Malibu City Hall is located at 23815 Stuart Ranch Road.

Note: Media unable to make the start of the tour, but wishing to attend the second stop at Malibu Creek, should arrive at the Malibu City Hall by 10:15 a.m. Please contact Stephanie Hanna at 206-818-7411 or Chris Paolino at 202-341-0192, if you will be participating in only the second tour stop.

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