SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Wet weather is sweeping across the Bay Area Wednesday with another system on the way. Here's how the storm is impacting the region, and a look at the preparation process for potential damages.
It was a race against the rain clock along the Guadalupe River near the Children's Discovery Museum, with a level one storm pushing through the area.
Valley Water had crews on hand removing blockages as they kept an eye on their usual areas of flood concern.
These jobs will make a difference when the storm hits because it makes it easier for crews to clean up debris when the actual rain comes.
We're almost a year removed from the torrential storms of 2023, with an El Niño forecasted to bring more heavy rain, downed trees and flooding in 2024.
Valley Water crews worked 24 hours a day during that time to keep creeks and rivers cleared and they feel better prepared with this work done before the rain comes.
"The last January storm only gave us more experience and preparation for what's to come," Valley Water Watersheds operations and maintenance unit manager Ryan Tregoning said. "So, I think our crews are ready for it, ready to get back out there and ready to weather the weather."
Dave Canny is VP of PG&E's North Coast region. He warns customers to be prepared for possible power outages. But adds, PG&E crews are staged across the Bay Area, ready to respond.
"For this storm, we have staged poles, transformers, and other electrical equipment in our yards throughout the region and our service area in anticipation of any potential outages and associated damage," he explains.
In the East Bay, there was light rain throughout much of the day. But even small amounts of rain are good for the region, says Captain Chris Toler with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.=
"Vegetation fires are still an issue with us, and this rain is going to do us some good," he says.
Captain Toler adds that even though much of the East Bay will experience light rain, residents stay need to take precautions.
"Our canals should be filling up pretty quick. Please stay out of the canals. They are very dangerous. They look like they are fun, but they are not. Standing water, please don't drive through it. Six inches of water could actually sweep your car away," says Toler.
Forecast massive waves have Santa Cruz County officials urging people to stay away from beaches Thursday.
This comes after parts of the county were already hit hard by high surf earlier this year.
But with a High Surf Warning issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday, officials want people to stay away.
"What we're going to see are some extraordinarily large waves on top of a high tide 6 or 7 feet, and the tides have actually been running higher than predicted," said Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz County spokesperson, "When you put waves of that size on top of tides that are that high, we have the potential for some coastal damage, and certainly coastal flooding."
The county says it's been focused on working to get the word out to avoid the beach and look at the high surf only from safe distances.
"Stay on cliffs, stay high off the beach, don't go for dog walks," Hoppin said.
Hoppin said the lower-lying areas are of the most concern for the county like Rio Del Mar Beach which saw major flooding.
High surf there also led to the further destruction of the pier leading up to the famous cement ship, the pier eventually being removed altogether.
The city of Capitola also still recovering from the high surf in January.
Construction was going on Wednesday to rebuild the badly damaged wharf. Businesses hit hardest, like the Sand Bar in the village, only just now recovering.
"There's still more to do, we've got the front done," said Jeff Lantis of the business's progress, "It's coming along, it's refreshing to be back in business again. That's great, but there are definitely worries."
Equipment to create sand barriers could be seen around the businesses on Wednesday.
The county says it's been difficult to keep up with the constant weather events hitting the area.
"We're kind of into the cycle, unfortunately, of trying to scramble every year to fix these roads, and then getting hit with another wave of significant winter storms," Hoppin said, "Climate change is not doing well for Santa Cruz County."
The impact of the vicious cycle, also felt by the hard-hit business owners who say they're working hard to keep their spirits up.
"I'm just gonna try and stay positive," Lantis said.
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