County Prepares for Severe Storm Forecasted for Area Impacted by 2016 Loma Fire

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – In anticipation of the rain storm expected this weekend, the County of Santa Clara is coordinating efforts to help ensure the well-being of residents impacted by the 2016 Loma Fire. Reports from the National Weather Service indicate that the Loma Burn Scar area may experience up to 10” of rain and the County Office of Emergency Services is preparing for a variety of issues, such as soil erosion and debris flow that may arise as a result of ground saturation.

“We continue to monitor the National Weather Service updates, and we will be ready to activate the County Emergency Operations Center if needed, to support our Operational Area partners,” said Dana Reed, Director of Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services.

Activities from coordinating agencies include:

  • Santa Clara County Roads and Airports will be monitoring unincorporated County roads
  • South County Fire District will be monitoring roads and conditions, and coordinating with law enforcement
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies will be in the field and responding to 9-1-1 calls as needed
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District will be monitoring reservoirs
  • Santa Clara County Parks and Open Space Authority representatives will be in the field, monitoring and providing information to the coordinating agencies
  • Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services is coordinating with the State

The Office of Emergency Services is in contact with the National Weather Service and will provide additional information as it becomes available. Non-emergency requests can still be called into the Loma Fire Community Support Line at (408) 808-7879.

The County Office of Emergency Services reminds residents to prepare for rain and potential effects with the necessary tools and recommendations below:

SANDBAG LOCATIONS (Loma Fire Area/South Santa Clara County)
Loma Fire residents can obtain sandbags at these locations:

  • Open Space Authority parking lot located .8 mile down Casa Loma from McKean Road. Bring scoop or shovel to fill sandbags.
  • Mid-Peninsula Open Space at Summit Road and Loma Prieta Road.
  • El Toro Fire Station, 18300 Old Monterey Road, Morgan Hill. Bring scoop or shovel to fill sandbags.

SANDBAG LOCATIONS (other areas of Santa Clara County)

  • San Jose: City’s Mabury Service Yard, 1404 Mabury Road
  • San Jose: City’s Central Service Yard, 1661 Senter Road
  • San Jose: Santa Clara Valley Water District warehouse, Winfield Boulevard between Blossom Hill Road and Coleman Avenue
  • Palo Alto: 1925 Embarcadero Road, adjacent to Palo Alto Air Terminal.
  • Alviso: Northeast corner of Gold and Catherine streets.

ROAD EMERGENCIES
Report county road emergencies (such as flooding and downed trees) for unincorporated areas at (408) 299-2507 after business hours or during weekends.

Rainy Weather Safety Tips

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A HEAVY RAIN EVENT

  1. Fill your car with fuel and prepare for possible evacuation if needed.
  2. Make sure you have fresh batteries in your flashlights and they are readily available in case of a power outage.
  3. Stock up on water and food to avoid going out during the worst of the storm.
  4. Secure your home.  Make sure windows and doors are securely closed.
  5. If you can, bring outdoor garden equipment and lawn furniture inside or tie it down.  
  6. Listen for emergency notices from the radio/television or AlertSCC through phones, emails or texts.

SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVING IN HEAVY RAIN

  1. If you must drive in the rain, drive slowly and steadily.  Pull over and stop if it is raining so hard that you cannot see.
  2. DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODWATERS!
  3. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.  One foot of water will float most vehicles.  Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles — including SUVs and pick-ups.
  4. Stay away from water that electrical or power lines have fallen into; electric current passes through water easily.
  5. One twelfth of an inch of water on a road can cause a car going 35 miles per hour to hydroplane.

SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKING ON TRAILS

  1. When rain is falling, it’s best not to walk or bike near a river or stream, even on paved urban bike and walking trails; water flow can quickly increase and flooding can occur without notice.
  2. NEVER take shelter in a culvert, under a bridge, or in an enclosed space, especially in low elevations by rivers and streams. Always go to higher ground out of the flow of water.
  3. Do not walk or bike through moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
  4. If lightning is present, do not stand under or near an isolated tree or group of trees. Never allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or flooded areas.

DOWNED POWER LINES/CABLES
Stay clear of downed lines and report them immediately to PG&E's 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-743-5000. If a power line has fallen onto a vehicle, stay away from the vehicle. Seek help immediately by calling 9-1-1.

NATURAL GAS LINE DAMAGE
Natural gas service lines are buried throughout the area, and they can sustain damage in times of heavy rain and flooding.

  1. If you smell natural gas (the odor is similar to sulfur or rotten eggs), it may indicate a gas leak.Immediately leave your home or outside area with gas odor.
  2. Once safely outside or away from the area with the odor, call PG&E's 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-743-5000 to report your concern. 
  3. Avoid using anything that has the potential to create a spark.  Do not smoke, turn on or off lights, turn on appliances, use garage door openers, start a car, or use phones in an area where gas may be present.

For more information about this and other disaster preparedness measures visit https://www.ready.gov/.

Media Contacts:                                                                                                 
Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa
Office of Public Affairs
[email protected]
[email protected]

Posted: January 6, 2017

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