'Fill the well' Bay Area residents prepare for 1st storm of the season, possible flooding

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Sunday, September 18, 2022
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North Bay residents are getting storm ready for this weekend's rain which could bring flooding to some areas.

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, people are getting storm ready for the rain, which could bring flooding to some areas.

The approaching storm is giving many people a reason to prepare and be rain-ready. After nearly six months of dry weather and drought conditions, the precipitation is cause for excitement and some concern.

"We're ready. Fill the well," said John Rooke.

Rooke was ready for some September rain. He was at Pini Hardware in Novato, looking to outfit his employees at Trader Joe's with rubber rain boots.

"So we just got a bunch of rain gear, got the boots. I want my crew to be ready for the rain so they can stay dry and be safe," Rooke said.

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Bryan Hurst needed tarps to cover his roof.

"I'm just doing a remodel. I have some holes for skylights that are open. I'm worried about the storm," Hurst said.

Manager Bryan Eyslee says rain gear is suddenly back in fashion.

"There's a lot of preparedness, not sure how much rain is going to come," he said.

The Marin County Fire Department is adding extra crews this weekend. Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Pierce said his department is concerned about storm damage between Sunday and Monday.

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"As that rain comes in, all of our trees still have leaves, we may have trees down and power lines down," Pierce said.

"I welcome it, we need rain in a big way, early and often is what I say. Let's get it in small doses so we don't have flood issues," said Warren Gardner from San Anselmo.

In Santa Rosa, a free sandbag station opened Friday on Stony Point Road.

"I'm glad it's raining, I hope it rains more," said Lisa Warren from Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department Tweeted: "are you rain ready during fire season? upwards of two inches possible in and around Santa Rosa thru Tuesday."

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"Obviously, it's welcome but it's a temporary pause in critical fire season, this is not enough rain to get us out of fire season but it will slow things down," said Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal.

Sandbags were being delivered Friday to the Ritter Center in San Rafael, which provides meals and medical care to hundreds of families in need.

"We're concerned the back of the pantry might be flooded," said Ritter Center manager George Garcia.

Garcia says ahead of the weekend storm, a new sump pump has been installed even a huge generator is standing by in case the power fails.

"We're trying to be more prepared than last time, last time it was epic and damaging to our services," Garcia said.

VIDEO: Bay Area storm: North Bay residents prepare for summer rain that could bring flooding

During last October's heavy rains, the center had two feet of floodwater inside its food pantry, it forced them to close for several weeks.

Clients like Patrick Tarason got free rain gear, to help him stay dry.

"I already have some rain pants, it will complete the ensemble," said Tarason.

In Santa Rosa, a sandbag station on Stony Point Road is now open and ready. Lisa Warren was here hoping to keep the rain away from her house.

"I just had some demolition work done, now there is a slope, I want to put the sandbags near my house," said Warren.

"This was just opened today as per the National Weather Service, they expected one to two inches of rain for this weather event," said Lon Peterson, Santa Rosa spokesperson.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department is ready for the September storm, with a close eye on burn scar areas from the Glass Fire. Fire officials say the rain won't be enough to get them out of fire season but it will temporarily ease fire danger.

"We expect some flooding and ponding, our eyes will be on scar areas to see how it reacts to this amount of rain," said Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal.

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