More Rain On the Way: Bad Weather Shelter Opens, Saturday's Black History Parade Now Faces Chance of Showers

Published : Friday, February 15, 2019 | 6:56 AM

Pasadena police help volunteers prepare supplies for those in need of shelter from the continuing rains at the city's Bad Weather Shelter operated by Friends in Deed.

It has been a rainy wet winter. And it is still raining, and will continue to rain, according to the National Weather Service, possibly dampening Saturday’s Black History Parade (now there’s a 20 percent chance of showers) and likely on Sunday and into next week

Southern California is not necessarily built for these conditions, even though they are natural, and such intemperate weather tends to wreak a certain degree of havoc.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), as of 3 p.m. Friday, Pasadena had been hit with 3.17 inches of rain over the prior 48 hours.

City of Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian provided the local perspective saying, “We have seen minor debris mudflow in hillside areas, but nothing significant and our crews have responded quickly to mitigate any further damage.”

Derderian said there is concern with the oversaturation of hillsides, landscaping and streets, “so problems could potentially develop even after it continues to dry out.”

The rain has stopped for now, but NWS puts the chance of precipitation at around 40 percent and estimates an initial downpour early Friday (Feb. 15). That figure goes up to 70 percent at 11 a.m. and drops to 40 percent by Sunday Feb 17.

For Pasadena’s bad weather shelter, run with the help of volunteers by a Friend in Deed, it means stretching an already shallow bench that much more, said Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater.

“The season starts at Thanksgiving and we’ve already had the shelter opened 36 nights,” Grater said in an interview. “And it’s raining a lot. After that it will be very cold, so we are looking at another seven or eight nights in row. We might close the season at 60 nights open. That’s a big number.”

Rain or temperatures below 40 degrees trigger the center’s opening, according to Grater. “We can see a weather pattern so we know we are going to be taking people during the weekend and beyond.”

He said the shelter averaged 80 people a night last week.

There is an intake process for those needing to avail themselves of the amenities, but Grater assured that it is a low-barrier, emergency shelter.

“Last week we had as many as 80 people coming in,” said Grater. “It is kind of grueling and very hard on the staff. For most of them its supplementary work. They have other jobs.”

On Feb. 13, volunteers from the Pasadena Police Department chipped in to help lay down giant tarps at the Pasadena Covenant Church and set up cots for sleeping. It was a first time detail for the men in blue.

Pasadena Covenant Church is located at 539 North Lake Avenue. The Bad Weather Shelter hotline is (888) 915-8111.

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