By Gregg Schlaman
From January 5, 2017:
The upcoming storm Saturday thru Monday, January 7-9, has the potential to create quite an event in the SLV. Please try to minimize the impact to you and your family! Feel free to share this information and if you have any additions or changes, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I try my best to compile the most accurate info, but I am certainly not perfect!
Here are some tips:
AROUND YOUR HOME:
Take a look around your property TODAY. Look at where water has recently been flowing. Is it creating a problem for your property or your home? Keep an eye on water flow off your roof, or around your home. If you see water backing up into storm drains, be aware of possible implications…
Clean your gutters! Make sure your downspouts are working properly!
Make sure you have adequate supplies for several days in your home. Make sure you have several gallons of fresh water per person and non perishable food. You may not be able to leave and you may not have electrical power.
Make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car.
Keep in touch with your neighbors. You may be their only help, and vice versa.
If you live in a low lying area, or near a watershed such as a river, hopefully you have seen how high it can rise during recent heavy rains. Expect it to get worse than that. If you live on roads like West Park or Riverdale areas in Boulder creek and have not experienced high levels of water in the rivers, expect it could rise higher than you have ever seen.
VENTURING OUT DURING OR AFTER THE STORM:
Stay away from rivers and streams! Don’t visit places like Barbara Day Dam Park in Boulder Creek and think it’s safe to try and stand next to the water or on the dam! You can easily be swept away!
Just because the rain may have stopped or reduced in intensity, do not assume rivers and streams will immediately drop in level! IT COULD BE HOURS AFTER THE RAINFALL STOPS BEFORE RIVER LEVELS WILL START TO RECEDE, and it is common for them to rise when the rain stops before they begin to drop!
IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF SANDBAGS:
In Boulder Creek I believe the fire department said they are in the parking lot behind the real estate office next to the Rec Center. Limit of 15 bags and remember NOT to fully fill the bags!
DRIVING IN HEAVY RAINS:
There will be lots of streams running across the roads and some you might not be able to see. Expect that you will experience aquaplaning (hydroplaning). This is when there is sufficient water between your tires and the pavement to cause loss of traction and possibly cause loss of control of your car. The most important thing is to NOT PANIC! If you experience loss of traction, DON’T HIT THE BRAKES! DON’T SPEED UP! DON’T MAKE SUDDEN STEERING CHANGES! Gently let your foot off the gas pedal; you can drive steadily thru it.
This is a good list of internet resources:
San Lorenzo River water level and flow:
Weather radar (I use two, as they are monitored in different locations… KPIX is good to see farther out):
County roads are monitored by CHP, so it is good place to start… county road closure list is not always updated:
Local weather advisories:
Local weather stations:
Content used by permission of the author. Photo at Barbara Day Park Dam by Chris Finnie.