How Bay Area residents say 2024's winter storms differ from last year, as they prepare for more

Lauren Martinez Image
Friday, February 16, 2024
How Bay Area residents say 2024's winter storms differ from last year
With more weather systems incoming, some are noting how the breaks in between storms have been helpful in recovery as major repair work is still underway from last year's storm damage.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- With more Bay Area storms coming, some are noting how the breaks in between rain have been helpful in recovery.

Boulder Creek resident Shandra Hunt is still cleaning up from an intense windstorm earlier this month.

"This is where the fir tree fell, and this is all the debris- it fell all the way across the farm," Hunt said.

In December, Hunt gave ABC7 News a virtual tour of Hillhouse Farm and the measures she took to prevent flooding.

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Now she can see all the drainage she installed is paying off.

"This is where all the water ends up and we've got several trenches to drain that off, this waddle and this cover crop have been highly effective - last year this entire hoop house was flooded," Hunt said.

Hunt said the one positive about this winter versus last year is the breaks in between storm systems giving her time to make repairs.

"So we get a couple of days, things dry out, and we have a chance to come up and actually do some work where it's not just complete flooding and make sure everything is maintained, so that's been really nice this year," Hunt said.

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

On Thursday, one community on the Russian River was getting a hand from Sonoma County firefighters assisting folks prepare for the storms.

Along the coast, major repair work is still underway from last year's storm damage.

Photographer Mark Woodward, well known under the social handle 'Native Santa Cruz,' took a snapshot of work at the retaining wall off West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.

The pauses in between storms have also helped gradually build the Bay Area's water supply.

Santa Clara Valley Water spokesperson Matt Keller said it's a great thing when you can fill up the reservoirs without seeing widespread flooding.

VIDEO: Some North Bay PG&E customers still in dark 5 days after storm left trail of damage

In the North Bay, some residents are still living life off the grid waiting for their power to be restored almost five days after the epic winter storm.

Valley Water oversees ten reservoirs.

"At the beginning of February our nine reservoirs that are up and operating were about 90% of average for this time of the year and just in the last two weeks now we're at a 125% of average for this time of the year," Keller said.

That average excludes the county's largest reservoir, Anderson, which is currently being drained for earthquake repairs until 2032.

Valley Water says it won't be until this spring when we know how water totals will be for the year.

"We're looking at more storms, we're looking at that snowpack to improve greatly, and so we don't really count our water supply and see where we're at for the upcoming year until to really the April 1st snowpack survey," Keller said.

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