Officials from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose alerted the public on Oct. 25 to the risks of flooding this rainy season, providing directions to preparation and emergency resources.
“This winter, the climate prediction center at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a higher probability of above normal rainfall,” said Brian Garcia, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in the Bay Area.
Last winter, dozens of atmospheric river storms dumped a record-setting amount of rain and snow, causing power outages and downed trees in the region. Water ponding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, including near-blocked culverts and storm drains, impacted Santa Clara County communities and roadways, according to the county’s emergency response center.
“So far this year, we have filled 97,000 sandbags, removed sediment from creeks and streams and repaired levees,” said Melanie Richardson, assistant chief executive officer for Valley Water.
Richardson was standing in front of the Lower Silver Creek in East San Jose, where crews recently removed 4 feet of sediment.
San Jose City Councilmember Domingo Candelas said his city has prepared by upgrading stormwater drainage systems and coordinating with the county to assess high-risk areas and make similar adaptations.
Santa Clara County residents can go to valleywater.org/floodready to find information on where to obtain free-filled sandbags, download disaster emergency warning apps, sign up to receive alerts, make a household flood plan and learn if they live in a flood zone.
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