Santa Rosa officials work to prevent flooding in North Bay fire zones

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- A month after fires devastated parts of Santa Rosa the rain now poses a new threat.

Mudslides, flooding, debris flows, and sinkholes are the new concern.

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One sinkhole already opened up on Newberry Court. The plastic drain pipes burned and melted underground in the October firestorm.

This means in some areas, there's nothing there to support any runoff from the rain.

The city has identified 23 trouble spots, one of which is at Cross Creek Road in Fountain Grove.

They closed the street to the public while they make repairs.

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"In this particular case, there's no homes, unfortunately, they've been burned. However, this is a major thoroughfare. This is a street that gets a lot of traffic so we're advertising it to the public. So they know to plan their routes accordingly," said Paul Lowenthal, the Asst. Fire Marshal for the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

City crews alerted neighbors and sealed off street-level storm drains.

They are using tiny cameras and placing them underground to get pictures of the damaged pipes.

"We have crews that we have mobilized through emergency contracts to start doing emergency repairs as we evaluate the needs," said Lowenthal.

One of those crews worked on the sinkhole. They dug up 250 feet of pipe on the hillside and secured the road.

City officials are taking the issue seriously and say now is not the time to let your guard down.

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