An “atmospheric river” is bringing heavy rains and winds to our region. Valley Water has taken precautions to prepare for possible storm impacts. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Santa Clara County. Residents should be aware that the storm has the potential to cause creek flooding issues, especially on 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.
Our crews have worked all year in collaboration with cities and partners to prepare our creeks for winter rains. 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.
As of Tuesday afternoon, our ten reservoirs have a combined storage of 55 percent of their full capacity. Anderson Reservoir is currently at 37.6 percent capacity, leaving ample capacity 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.
Visit our website (http://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 Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. She can be reached at [email protected].