Winter storm preparations underway across South Bay

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Trees, power lines and placid creeks across the Bay Area will soon be hit with another strong winter storm.

San Jose resident, Dale Friesen told ABC7 News, "We haven't had rain for so long, we don't know what to expect anymore."

Friday's forecast calls for heavy rain, damaging wind gusts, flooding and toppling trees.

RELATED: Back-to-back storms expected to bring 6 days of rain to Bay Area

National Weather Service Bay Area issued a Flash Flood Watch, in effect from Friday evening through late Friday night. Adding, "Heavy rainfall over a short amount of time will likely inundate storm drains with rapid rises on small creeks and streams."

The Santa Clara Valley Water District said these conditions put their crews near area creeks to help avoid any flooding potential.

"Any time we know that a storm is coming up, we have our crews survey the areas," Gina Adriano explained. "Making sure there's no blockages, making sure that the trash racks are clear, that there's no debris in the creeks."

Adriano said the water district is confident reservoirs have enough storage to capture Friday's rainwater.

The last Level 3 storm to drench the Bay Area hit just two weeks ago. ABC7 News was in Saratoga then, as water came pouring through a brick wall, flooding one homeowner's property along Sobey Road.

Adriano said drainage was a challenge in the last winter storm. She explained a lot of water over little time impacts a stream's ability to drain.

RELATED: The ABC7 News Storm Impact Scale explained

"So, if it's not draining as quickly, then that's where we're seeing those potential flood threats happening," she added.

Adriano encouraged neighbors to assist in preparation and prevention.

"Emergencies are unpredictable, but we always encourage folks to be prepared for anything," she said. "Definitely having an emergency kit. If you had to evacuate, knowing where to go. Knowing where to park your car so that it would be out of harms way."

She added, "We also always ask the public to help us out, be our eyes and ears. If you see anything that can be a potential obstruction, give us a call."

The Santa Clara Valley Water District encourages residents to participate in the AlertSCC, the Santa Clara County emergency alert system. Go here to sign up.

You can get ahead by grabbing sandbags ahead of the storm. There are several sites across the South Bay stocked with filled bags including:

  1. Palo Alto: 1925 Embarcadero Road, adjacent to Palo Alto Air Terminal
  2. Alviso: Located behind George Mayne Elementary School, 5030 N 1st Street, (entrance on Wilson Way behind school)
  3. San Jose: City Central Service Yard, 1661 Senter Road at Phelan Avenue
  4. San Jose: Santa Clara Valley Water District Winfield Warehouse, 5905 Winfield Boulevard, between Blossom Hill Road and Coleman Avenue - bag pickup street access only
  5. Morgan Hill: El Toro Fire Station, 18300 Old Monterey Road, next to the Union Pacific Railroad overpass above Monterey Highway

Dale Friesen said he hasn't made any preparations yet, though he lives a short distance away from a sandbag station. "It sounds funny, but we have access to sandbags right across the street from us," he said.

"It's hard to think about rain and storms and everything else when it looks like this," Friesen said during the mild Thursday afternoon. "But it changes."

RELATED: Track the rain on Live Doppler 7 radar

To learn whether your home is located in a flood zone, click here.

You can find additional flood safety tips by the water district here.

Check out the latest AccuWeather forecast.
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