How should Sacramento prepare for storms? Start by clearing your gutters — plus other tips

·3 min read

Heavy rains are coming to Northern California, including a ”bomb cyclone,” which brings intense winds and storms.

“It looks like basically Thursday through early next week, into Tuesday, we could see upwards of 2 to 2 1/2 inches in the Sacramento area,” said Emily Heller, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

She said we’re in a transitional period right now, as we start shifting to a wet season.

“So it’s not that unusual,” she said about the rain. “Although this is kind of one of those stronger storms coming in. So we are seeing more rainfall than we’re used to, at least what we’re used to this past year.”

Sacramento has only received about 4 1/2 inches throughout all of 2021.

As we put away our air conditioning and dust off our heaters to brace for the upcoming rain, Heller shared some tips on how to prepare for Sacramento’s storms.

Be prepared for power outages

Extreme storms and powerful winds can cause outages, as seen with the river storm that blew through Sacramento and Northern California earlier this year.

It’s important that residents prepare for potential blackouts.

“It would probably be good to make sure you have maybe a portable battery or something of the sort,” Heller said.

Clean your gutters and drains

Heller said you should start removing leaves from your gutters and drains.

“That is kind of what causes a lot of our local ponding on our roads,” she said.

According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, gutters help “direct rainfall away from your home and prevent flooding.” But it can only effectively do so if it is clean and free of debris. The organization shared advice on how you can get your gutters ready for wet weather here.

Make sure your car is ready for rain

“If you’re traveling, get your car weather-ready,” Heller said. You should check your wiper blades and make sure they work properly, along with your headlights.

This will ensure you can drive safely on the road during the storm.

Be careful if you’re on the road

“If you are driving and there is ponding of water or anything of the sorts, definitely be sure to slow down and allow extra time to reach any destination that you’re traveling to,” Heller said. “Leave a little bit earlier.”

She added that if you see water in the road, you should not drive across it because you can’t be sure how deep it is.

Check the forecast

It’s not uncommon for weather predictions to change.

Heller said you should stay up to date with the forecast, whether you’re going out, traveling far distancing or staying at home.

And what about the bomb cyclone that we could see in several days?

Heller said her tips basically apply to the phenomena, too. Other storm preparedness recommendations she shared include putting away patio furniture and taking in your pets.

What do you want to know about life in Sacramento? Ask our California Utility Team your top-of-mind questions in the module below or email utilityteam@sacbee.com.

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