South Bay residents face the incoming rainy season with careful anticipation. Given last year's record rainfall and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) recent predictions of above-normal rainfall this winter, concerns about potential floods in Santa Clara County and surrounding areas are increasing. Local government agencies and service providers are making preparations in response to this threat, per CBS News.
The likelihood of winter flooding has sparked action among San Jose, Santa Clara County, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) communities. Last winter confronted the region with dozens of atmospheric river storms that led, in some areas, to widespread damage. Consequently, agencies like Valley Water are intensifying their efforts to minimize risks and fortify local communities, according to NBC Bay Area report.
Actions include stormwater drainage improvements, county and city partnerships, and efforts to preserve and enhance local infrastructure. To help rainwater flow more smoothly and mitigate flash flood risk, a significant project at East San Jose's Lower Silver Creek involved four feet of sediment removal by Valley Water. Additionally, thousands of storm drains were cleared and obstacles in streams and creeks were removed during the dry season.
While the frequency of such storms is uncommon for California, last year's excessive rainfall was deemed an anomaly. The possibility of consecutive heavy rainfall years highlights the urgency of these efforts and the local preparations' importance. These uncommon weather patterns obligate agencies to learn from past experiences and adapt for the future.
As NBC Bay Area news mentioned, Valley Water emphasized the importance, of last winter's lesson on enhanced interdepartmental communication and public outreach. To facilitate this, they are urging South Bay residents to sign up for AlertSCC, a localized alert system, and access resources at valleywater.org/floodready to prepare for potential flooding situations.
Residents are being offered free-filled sandbags to protect their properties, with pickup locations listed on Valley Water's website. Along with local measures, California Governor Gavin Newsom's office recently committed $95 million to support flood preparedness and recovery initiatives for vulnerable communities.