As a result of problems associated with the prolonged, heavy rainfall – also known as an atmospheric river – in the area, the Directors of Emergency Services for San Joaquin County proclaimed a local State of Emergency on Sunday, Jan. 1.
The emergency was proclaimed because San Joaquin County was affected by a “public calamity” when the Board of Supervisors was not in session.
“San Joaquin County has declared a Local State of Emergency due to the heavy rain we experienced over the weekend and the forecast of more rain this week,” said Fifth District Supervisor Robert Rickman, who represents Escalon on the county board. “Our Emergency Operations Center is activated and situational updates with allied agencies, and cities are being conducted. For further information and updates, please refer to SJReady.org.”
The state of emergency expires in seven days unless confirmed and ratified by the Board of Supervisors, which can extend the emergency time period.
County officials said the storm that began on Dec. 28 caused extreme damage to the safety of people and property within the county, including local flooding of communities and local infrastructure and extraordinary stress upon levees and water systems.
The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services is tasked with collecting damage estimates from county departments, cities within its jurisdiction and special districts. This includes unincorporated areas of the county where additional impacts have diverted local resources from day-to-day operations, and the impacts of this storm will likely be beyond the control of services, personnel, equipment, and facilities.
The SJReady.org website features information on how to report weather related issues, has updated road closures throughout the county and sand bag availability information. There is also a link to flood preparedness and flood safety information.
To stay updated on the latest weather impacts, follow San Joaquin County on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SJCOES or Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SJC_OES
A flood watch remains in effect through Friday morning, Jan. 6 covering the Sacramento Valley, Northern San Joaquin Valley, Carquinez Strait and Delta, Mother Lode, and Sierra Foothills.
Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible from Wednesday morning, Jan. 4 through Friday morning, Jan. 6. Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris. Extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible. Area rivers, creeks, and streams are running high, particularly along the Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers, and are expected to rise with more heavy rain. For more details, visit http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood.
Also, a high wind warning will be in effect through Thursday, Jan. 5.
Damaging southerly winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph expected.
Impacted areas are forecast to include the Sacramento Valley, Northern San Joaquin Valley, Carquinez Strait and Delta, Mountains Southwestern Shasta County to Western Colusa County, Northeast Foothills/Sacramento Valley and Motherlode.
The winds will have the potential to blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
Saturated soils will allow for trees to topple more easily during this wind event. The strongest winds will be Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday morning. People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.