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Sonoma County Storm Preparations UPDATE


Sonoma County Storm Preparations UPDATE

The National Weather Service is currently forecasting a strong winter storm to pass over Sonoma County beginning today, Wednesday December 10th, and continuing through Friday.  There will likely be areas of local flooding in the morning during the commute and as the morning progresses. 

This water will cause the Russian River levels to rise throughout the day, and it is anticipated that they will reach flood stage (32 ft) overnight Thursday to Friday, peaking at 38 ft Friday afternoon 

While the amount of rain overnight will better inform the likelihood and extent of potential flooding, the County will open the Emergency Operations Center at 7am tomorrow morning to coordinate the assessment of current conditions and address planning needs.  This will include preparation for possible transport and additional shelter for those who might need to evacuate.  The County will also be conducting regular business tomorrow.

Updated Shelter Information

Petaluma:  The shelter needs in Petaluma will now be covered by COTs, which has a 130-bed capacity shelter located at 900 Hopper St.  They are able to handle all sheltering needs, so the planned opening of the Petaluma Veteran’s Building has been postponed pending future need.   

The latest information on existing and additional shelters can also be obtained through 2-1-1 and the Catholic Charities’ Cold Weather Hotline at 707-800-2927 (please note the corrected number for the Catholic Charities’ Cold Weather Hotline).  

Storm Safety

  • Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, holiday trees and small children. Do not leave candles unattended. 
  • Residents with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines. 
  • If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Never cross flooded roadways.  Cars can be swept away, and present a significant risk to pedestrians.
  • Watch roads for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.

The County will continue to monitor the storm, and provide updated information as it becomes available.  The County will also continue to post new information to its website, including information on shelters, school and road closures, safety information, sandbag locations, and rainfall totals.