Preparing for Winter Rains
County Scoop: October 2019
By Zach Friend
As we head into the rainy season it’s always good to do some advance preparations for your home or business. The County is still making repairs to storm damage that occurred a few years ago, which caused well over $120 million in damage to public roads and facilities in the unincorporated county.
If we have a similar winter we can expect additional flooding, mudslides, road damage and downed trees. As we saw, this means that some neighborhoods might have limited access or even be cut off from access for a period of time. What can you do to prepare and what is the County doing ahead of the winter to get ready?
One of the first things that you can do is visit the County’s winter prep resource page: www.santacruzcounty.us/elnino – while it was originally created for a previous El Nino season it has been updated and provides a wealth of information on what to do before, during and after a storm. It provides checklists on what to have on hand at your home, contact numbers and more.
In advance of the season Public Works has been cleaning culverts, mowing and clearing brush in an attempt to reduce flooding potential. They are encouraging the community to call them at 454-2160 if you know of any culverts that need inspection or repair or brush that needs to be cleared.
Residents can also download the free County mobile app My Santa Cruz County via the County’s website at santacruzcounty.us to report non-emergency issues. Additionally, Public Works is also asking that residents rake (if it’s safe) and clean storm drains to help prevent flooding. This simple task can significantly improve drainage. Road hazards can always be reported via the 24-hour Public Works dispatch number at 477-3999 (option 1).
If you believe that a tree has the potential to impact a power line PG&E is offering to have their arborists inspect trees and perform maintenance if needed. You can call them at 1-800-743-5000. Residents can also sign up for mobile alerts regarding power outages directly from their website.
Our local 911 center suggests residents sign up for mobile alerts (called Code Red) from their website www.scr911.org. These alerts will be used for evacuations, boil-water notices and other critical information.
What can you do to prepare your home or business?
According to FEMA and the Red Cross, here are some tips:
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to visit me during my open office hours in Aptos, Corralitos, Watsonville or Seascape or call me at 454-2200 if I can be of any help to you.