Residents urged to prepare for rainfall, potential flooding

Residents urged to prepare for rainfall, potential flooding
Posted on 10/26/2016

The National Weather Service is predicting rainfall and possible thunderstorms for the local area Thursday night and Friday. With the return of winter rains, the City of Redlands Emergency Operations Office, Police, Fire and Quality of Life departments are taking the opportunity to remind residents and businesses of precautionary measures they can take to protect their own health and safety.

While the City continues to make preparations to mitigate flooding, including inspecting, repairing and cleaning the storm drain system and trimming trees along heavily traveled roads, significant rainfall can overwhelm the City’s existing flood control system and cause localized flooding on City streets and in the Zanja and San Timoteo Canyon area.

The National Weather Service warns that debris flows and mud slides may impact recent burn scars in the San Bernardino County mountains from the Blue Cut and Pilot fires. Possible thunderstorms may also bring dangerous lightning, small hail and brief heavy rain. Light to moderate rainfall may also result in slick roads.

Residents are encouraged to take appropriate precautions to protect private property, including:

  • Check rain gutters and drains to make sure they are clear of debris to help keep water from building up on or around your home.
  • Make sure all irrigation systems are OFF to avoid adding to already saturated areas. City of Redlands irrigation restrictions prohibit watering landscaping within 48 hours of rainfall.
  • If you have experienced land movement around your home, watch for water or natural gas leaks associated with shifting soils. While relatively uncommon, an ongoing water leak can compound flood conditions.
  • Drive safely. Most injuries during stormy weather are directly related to traffic accidents associated with the weather. If you can make fewer trips or avoid being on the road during the storms, all the better.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown® Never drive through flooded roadways. If you come to an area that is covered with flood water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters.
    • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
    • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
    • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and report wires down, significant mud slides, fallen trees or substantial flooding.

Non-emergency flood related issues should be reported to the Quality of Life Department at (909) 798-7655. For any emergency situation that presents an imminent threat to life or property, call 911.

The City has sandbags available at no cost to local residents and businesses. Up to 10 empty sandbags are available per household or business within the City limits at each of the City’s fire stations and at the Fire Administration Office at 35 Cajon St., Suite 12. Fire Department personnel may not be available at all times depending on emergency calls. Bags can also be purchased at most home improvement stores. Fill sand and shovels are available across from the City Yard at 1270 W. Park Ave. Residents must provide identification and business owners or managers must provide information indicating their business is located within the City’s jurisdiction.