East Bay bracing for heavy rains and wind

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- The hills may get greener but the runoff from all the rain ahead could cause problems, especially in central and western Contra Costa County. Public works crews have been cleaning out culverts for the last four days, working 10 hours a day preparing for Friday night's storm .

Deputy Director Mike Carlson says they are keeping an eye on the section of Alhambra Valley Rd. that washed out in the winter of 2017. Still only one lane of traffic can pass through where the road collapsed.

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Mark Tigchelaar's home fronts that road and he said he experienced serious problems with runoff from the last set of storms in January. He and his neighbors are cleaning up debris and he expects to be up all night as the powerful storm rolls through. The steep hills and heavy rain could be a bad combination.

Carlson says much of the county received more than 5 inches of rain in January so in many places the soil is already supersaturated. What helps is the lack of rain over the last week.

"Stay out stay alive." Warning signs, as always, are posted along Walnut Creek culverts. Carlson says if the rain falls hard enough overnight, those culverts could fill quickly with up to 4 feet of fast flowing water. He says there is also potential for downed trees and power lines given the winds that are expected.

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