The predicted El Niño storms could bring heavy rains and flooding to Southern California this winter. This weather pattern can cause extreme weather conditions such as mild winters in the eastern and northern sections of the United States and heavy rains causing localized flooding in the western part of the country. Forecasters are predicting that the El Niño could arrive as early as October or November. While more rain would be welcome after the fourth year of drought in California, large amounts of rain in a short time span can also create problems.
What should you do to prepare?
Clear drains, rain gutters and downspouts of debris.
Trim trees and landscaping as needed to ensure that branches and limbs are clear of your structure. Cut down weakened trees that could damage your home. Contact the City of Banning Electric Department at 951-922-3260 if trees have grown over or around power lines on your property.
Inspect your roof for any signs of damage or needed repairs. Make arrangements for the repairs before water starts to leak inside your property.
Secure outdoor furniture and other loose items from causing damage during periods of heavy winds.
Use sand bags in areas known for flooding around your property. Priority should be given to protect flood waters from entering your home (i.e. place sand bags at entry points). Sand and sandbags will be available for distribution to residents, free of charge with proof of residency on a first-come, first-served basis. Distribution of sand bags occurs at the City Public Works Department located in City Hall at 99 E. Ramsey Street. Sand is available in a bin located in front of the Fire Station at 172 N. Murray Street. Residents can receive up to 10 sand bags per household.
Remind your children not to play in creeks or flood control channels, especially during rainy weather.
City staff is inspecting and cleaning street inlets. If you see an inlet that has debris blocking the opening to an inlet please call the Public Works Department at 951-922-3130.
Make an emergency plan for your family and build a disaster supply kit. Remember that local phone lines may be busy during a disaster, so designate a family member to contact outside of the area.
Know your children’s school plan.
Stock up on food, water and medicine so you don’t have to go out during the storms. This El Niño season is predicted to bring periods of long, back-to-back storms that may make it difficult to run your everyday errands.
Don’t forget about your pet’s needs. Stock up on their food and medicine too and make sure their ID tags are up to date.
What the Public Works Department is doing to prepare for El Niño
1. City staff along with the Flood Control District are inspecting and cleaning, as needed, catch basins, pipes, culverts and channels.
2. Working on contract for tree removal and tree trimming services. So far staff has identified over 200 trees to trim.
3. Stocking up on staging materials including sand bags, sand, barricades, plastic sheeting and flashing beacons.
4. Preparing signs/barricades for rapid deployment in case of road closures.
5. Provided sandbags and sand for residents.
6. Developing a flier for residents.
7. Looking for training on the topic of Flood Fighting for field staff.
8. Inspection and fueling up emergency generators (and chainsaws).
9. Get list of contractors/suppliers available for emergency work related to floods.
10. Making sure pumping equipment are in good operation order.
11. Coordinating/anticipating equipment and staff for emergency jetting of storm drains at areas prone to plugging.
12. Inspecting facilities (pump stations, lift stations, well sites, etc.) to correct possible drainage issues.
13. Inspecting construction sites for implementation of erosion control plans.