An updated forecast from the National Weather Service is indicating less rainfall in our region than previously expected from the incoming “atmospheric river.” A flash flood watch remains in effect for Santa Clara County. Valley Water has taken precautions to prepare for possible storm impacts and continues monitoring our streams and reservoirs. While we are not anticipating major flooding concerns, residents should be aware that the storm has potential to cause flooding along small channels that tend to rise quickly with intense rains. Unanticipated blockages in streams or storm drains may contribute to these risks.
Valley Water crews have been actively checking hotspots and areas of concerns. They stand ready with heavy equipment to respond to reports of downed trees or large debris blockages in locations where we have property rights. We are also monitoring streams for blockages at key bridges and culverts. We need the public’s help as our eyes and ears to alert us to obstructions in the creeks to help prevent flooding. To report issues in creeks, residents can call 408-630-2378 or submit a service request to Access Valley Water.
We are dedicated to keeping residents and businesses safe through our flood protection programs. In preparation for this series of storms, all five of our sandbag sites have been fully stocked. In addition, cities around the county operate an additional 19 sandbag sites. The community can keep an eye on streams with the district’s flood watch tool found on www.valleywater.org/floodready.
As of Tuesday afternoon, our ten reservoirs have a combined storage of 61 percent of their full capacity. Anderson Reservoir is currently at 47.3 percent capacity, with room to capture run-off from this week’s storm. Anderson Dam’s outlet has been open since Feb. 4 to reduce the chance of the reservoir reaching its dam seismic storage restriction of 58 percent capacity.
The community is encouraged to visit our website (www.valleywater.org/floodready) for flood safety tips, current reservoir levels and stream flows, and maps to free sandbag sites. We encourage residents to stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for weather reports and advisories.
Linda J. LeZotte is chair of the Valley Water Board of Directors. She can be reached at [email protected].