Heavy flooding concern in Martinez as storm hits Bay Area

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Heavy rains are drenching the Bay Area on Monday and a big concern for people in Martinez is flooding. The Arroyo del Hambre Creek is low now but the concern now is with the rains, water levels will rise and cause flooding.

Businesses in Martinez are no strangers to flooding. Some have already brought out the sandbags in preparation for the storm.

"We are preparing for El Nino, we're preparing for any flooding that might happen from creek that's coming up, the water tends to rise during wet season," Grandshaw Florist's Angelique Wilkie said.

In years past, businesses had flood damage, and it's something businesses and residents alike say comes with the territory.

PHOTOS: Series of storms drenches Bay Area

"Living in Alhambra Valley, everyone is in flood zone," resident Heath Bartosh said.

Contra Costa County is reminding residents that sandbags are now available and are free.

The West County Detention Facility is one of several locations. If you come, be prepared with gloves, a shovel and remember to fill the bag 1/3 of the way.

Along with sandbags, homeowners are urged to follow these single steps to prevent local flooding.

"We usually hear information about what do we do if creek rises into our yard. We try to get info on how to clean your creek, clean your storm drains of leaves, so water doesn't accumulate," Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors' John Gioia said.

County officials have been doing just that for months as they anticipate the biggest storm impacts from January to March when the El Nino driven storms arrive.

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