Sacramento County braces for possible flooding from next atmospheric river

Sacramento County braces for possible flooding from next atmospheric river

SACRAMENTO – More stormy weather is on the way for Northern California.

An atmospheric river follows the great snow in the Sierra and foothills. Warmer rain is expected to hit the valley and snow in lower elevation communities where there are concerns about possible flooding.

Jose Alejandre was not always a believer in storm preparation.

“I thought you know what? I’m not going to take a chance this year,” he said. “Let me get my butt out there and get some sandbags here.”

Wednesday he stopped by a sandbag off Center Branch Rd. In the eight years he’s lived in his South Sacramento home, he’d never backed up on sandbags until earlier this year. When heavy rain hit NorCal in January, he appreciated the bags for keeping the water out.

“The water came a few meters from our house,” Alejandre said.

While the weather is calm for now, the sense of urgency among people living in flood-prone areas should be in high gear. Sacramento County officials are urging people to prepare for any possible flooding.

“They need to take precautions before the water falls,” said Matt Robinson, a public information officer.

The county told CBS13 the storm cleanup from January is complete.

However, it could be déjà vu.

It’s not just this atmosphere that river emergency officials are looking at, but what will happen next Tuesday and possibly another storm soon after. Warm rain and melting snow could result in possible flooding — perhaps rivaling what communities saw in January.

The county considered the community response at the time to be encouraging.

“We find that people took it seriously because five years ago – six years ago – in 2017, we went through the same situation, so memories are not so short and people remembered what to do – that was the most good.” said Robinson.

The county says the potential for downed trees remains a major concern.

However, it’s not just your home that needs preparation, but your family as well, according to Sac Metro Fire.

“Please don’t risk driving through floodwaters,” said Capt. Parker Wilbourn. “Please don’t risk trying to take shortcuts. Be ahead of the game. Get your bag ready to go.”

Also, make sure you have an evacuation plan, he said.

As for Alejandre, he fears more storms in a row could damage communities.

“So I want to make sure we don’t have any problems,” he said.

Shawnte Passmore

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