'Ground is saturated': Bay Area prepares for back-to-back storms, possible flooding, power outages

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Bay Area prepares for back-to-back storms, power outages
First responders are ready for some overtime and PG&E says it's prepared to respond quickly to power outages as back-to-back storms approach.

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, all eyes are on the skies ahead of more storms that are set to drench the Bay Area. First responders are ready for some overtime and PG&E says it's prepared to respond quickly to power outages.

PG&E says it's ready for the next series of storms to hit the Bay Area.

"We pre-stage a lot of the materials and equipment that might be damaged during a storm, poles, conductors, wires, transformers," said PG&E spokesperson Megan McFarland.

McFarland says 1.4 million PG&E customers lost power during powerful storms earlier this month. But this round, the utility doesn't expect a direct hit.

TIMELINE: Showers to return to Bay Area as 2 storms approach; heavy snow to hit Lake Tahoe area

"This storm will have rain, wind, low snow in some areas but not those heavy sustained winds that can damage our equipment," McFarland said.

"We've got the candles and the batteries out, but that's the key concern all the power going down," said Dusty Roady.

Roady lives inside the Novato Mobile Home Park, which lost power two weeks ago.

And on top of that, nearby Armstrong Avenue flooded, trapping some folks in their homes.

MORE: Russian River community prepares ahead of back-to-back storms

Dusty expects that flooding will happen again.

"I like this, it reminds me to go get the food, whatever it is I'm going to need, because we may not be able to get out," Roady said.

In Santa Rosa, we found tree crews getting a jump on the weather, trimming limbs and branches.

First responders say more than a dozen homes were damaged by fallen trees during the last storm.

MORE: Seabirds washing ashore along coast at alarming rate due to winter storms, Monterey Co. SPCA says

"The ground is saturated. We are concerned about the already weakened trees, even though winds won't be as strong, they could bring additional trees down," said Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal.

Lowenthal says the Santa Rosa Fire Department will be upstaffing its swift water rescue team, the Sonoma County Fire District will be patrolling the Russian River, ready to perform rescues if needed. Officials urge everyone to be safe and be ready.

"It highlights the importance to make sure people are ready for trees to come down, but for more power outages as well," Lowenthal said.

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