Multiple, federal, state, and local agencies are taking action to protect our watershed and prevent flooding, this includes:
- In urban areas, the City of Santa Rosa and the County of Sonoma are cleaning and checking storm drains, and installing straw wattles and gravel bags to prevent debris from entering storm drains.
- In rural areas, the County is checking and installing debris-capture devices in culverts and ditches along rural roadways.
- CAL FIRE crews, the City, and the County are clearing fire debris from streams and storm water channels to reduce flood risks.
- The Sonoma County Agricultural & Open Space District, Sonoma County Regional Parks, and City of Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks are assessing their properties within the burned areas for hazardous conditions including downed and damaged trees and areas where erosion may affect streams and watersheds.
- The Sonoma County Water Agency will be installing rainfall and stream gauges in watersheds in burned areas and working to install radar equipment to improve early warning forecasts for residents in high-risk areas.
Increased Risk of Flooding
A multi-agency analysis of the fire damage found that properties located within fire burn areas may be at risk for flash floods, mudflows and debris flows.
To familiarize yourself with the potential hazards associated with the burned areas please view the Post-Fire Hazard Assessment Map.
Residents who live in areas identified as at medium and high-risk of flash flooding, debris and mud flows will receive information in the mail the week of 12/26. Preview that information here.
Roadside signage will be installed in areas that have been identified as high risk in late December/early January. Preview that signage here.
The National Weather Service expects debris flows to become more likely during periods of intense rainfall. Be prepared by:
- Identifying vulnerable areas on your property.
- Using erosion control techniques, such as installing wattles and rock bags, and clearing fire-related debris from creeks and drainages to reduce flooding.
- Have an evacuation and emergency plan ready.
- Keep your cell phone turned on at all times to receive emergency alerts.
National Weather Service Warning System:
- The National Weather Service issues weather advisories and watches when the weather forecast indicates there is a potential for hazardous conditions. Watches and advisories are shared online at https://www.weather.gov/alerts, and on the National Weather Service social media Facebook and Twitter feeds.
- Warning: The National Weather Service will issue a Warning if hazardous conditions are imminent or occurring within the burn areas.
- The National Weather Service sends Warnings over the Wireless Emergency Alerts system that will send a message to all cell phones in the burn areas and will also send out alerts through the Emergency Alert System that broadcasts on radios and televisions.
Sign up for Sonoma County Emergency Alerts:
- Sign up for SoCo Alerts by visiting http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/SoCoAlert/. SoCo Alerts will resend any Warnings issued by the National Weather Service and will issue evacuation warnings.
Weather Emergency Radios
- In areas where there is limited cell service, or if a power outage occurs, Emergency Warnings from the National Weather Service will be announced on the Weather Emergency Radios, which rely on batteries.
Emergency public hotlines - Flood, sanitation, streams maintenance
Flood Forecast Hotline: (707) 526-4768
The Flood Forecast is a recording that provides updates on local river conditions. The recordings are updated by the Sonoma County Water Agency as conditions change.
Stream Maintenance: (707) 521-1845
Report any stream related issues, such as debris or stream channel changes, to prevent localized flooding.
Sewage Emergency Hotline: (707) 523-1070
The Sewage Emergency Hotline is operated on a 24-hour basis at the Sonoma County Water Agency's Operations Center. Call this hotline to report any sewage spills, overflows or backed-up sewer lines.
Erosion Control and Flood Prevention for Property Owners
Erosion control and soil stabilization practices are needed and should be used in areas where soil is exposed and natural vegetation is inadequate. Information about Erosion Control can be found on the Sonoma Resource Conservation District Website at: http://sonomarcd.org/resources/fire-recovery/.
- Preparing for Winter After the Fire: What Property Owners Can Do
- Erosion Control Maps (PDF) – by USDA
- Log Erosion Barriers (PDF) – by USDA
- Straw Mulching for Erosion Control (PDF) - by Rich Casale, CPESC
- Planting guides and much more
- Erosion Control info provided by Bureau of Land Management (PDF 1.63 MB)
- Best Management Practices for Agriculture Erosion and Sedimentation Control, Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, Revised 12/13/2013 (PDF: 9.54 MB)
- Erosion and Sediment Control Field Manual, Fourth Edition, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region, 2002
Where to find wattles:
- A community resource is connecting people who want wattles installed on their property with organizations that can assist them. Click here to learn more.
- Wattles are available for purchase at local hardware stores.