The latest “pineapple express” arriving Wednesday afternoon could drop anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of rain in just 48 hours — and Petaluma police are warning residents to prepare by putting down sandbags, clearing gutters and checked with neighbors, among other suggestions.
“Several storm surge events will bring heavy rain and strong winds across the North Bay region through the end of this week,” police said in an alert Tuesday afternoon. The already saturated ground, they said, could lead to flash flooding, downed trees, power outages and “rapid waterlogging”.
To minimize storm damage, city and county crews from public works, fire and police agencies spent Tuesday preparing and will be ready Wednesday to respond to road closures, blocked storm drains and storm-related debris falling on streets and sidewalks, Petaluma. said the police.
Among the advice offered by local authorities, residents are advised to stock up on supplies such as water and flashlights, clean nearby gutters and storm drains and place sandbags as needed. For those in the most flood-prone areas, police recommend turning off power and gas in advance (see sidebar) and “Check on your neighbors, friends and family — especially those who may be vulnerable in an emergency.”
Police also advised residents to “avoid unnecessary travel”. If travel is necessary, use extreme caution by driving slowly and leaving extra space for other vehicles on the road. If the street lights are out, treat intersections as 4-way stops—and always watch for downed power lines, which should be reported by calling 911.
“Most flood deaths during a storm occur in a vehicle,” police said. “Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas,” which may appear less deep than they are.
In addition to the heavy rain, this last atmospheric flurry is forecast to bring sustained winds of 20-30 mph from the south, with gusts up to 50 mph and 60 mph above 1,000 feet. On the coast, gusts could reach 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
A flash flood watch has been issued for most of the state and a high wind warning will go into effect at 4 a.m. Wednesday and last until 10 a.m. Thursday for most of the state. large area of the Bay Area.
Sonoma County and surrounding counties will be at the highest risk this week for flooding, mudslides and downed trees and power lines, as rain rates could reach 1 inch per hour.
Heavy rain is expected to end Thursday afternoon. Then, after a 24-hour break, a weaker but still strong storm is expected to move in on Friday night.
Democrat Press reporter Madison Smalstig contributed to this report.
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