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Heavy Rain the Forecast: How You Can Be Prepared

Post Date:01/11/2019 12:00 PM

Heavy rain is anticipated across the Central Coast beginning Friday evening. 

Community members should take steps to protect themselves and their property, and prepare for downed trees, potential flooding near creeks and tributaries, and other damage caused by wind and rain. 

The City is prepared for a rainy season and during storms has additional staff on hand around the clock in order to reduce impacts of the storm. On any rainy day, crews patrol four storm zones. A crew is assigned to each zone and inspects approximately 150 ‘hot spots’ for downed trees, flooding, debris flow, and responds to calls for service. In the evening, police officers patrol critical areas and rangers routinely inspect the creeks to check if anyone is camping in a potential flood zone. 

Residents should also prepare for the storm using our Winter Weather Guide, found here

Proactive preparation includes having battery-operated flashlights ready, clearing out roof drains, keeping up-to-date on weather reports, watching out for vulnerable neighbors, reporting incidents, and getting sand bags if necessary. 


  • To report incidents during normal business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.), call 805-781-RAIN (805-781-7246).
  • To report an incident after hours and on weekends, call the police department’s non-emergency line at 805-781-7312.
  • If it’s an emergency, call 911.


The City provides sand at four locations. Please bring your own sandbags that can be purchased at local hardware stores. 

  • City Corp Yard at 25 Prado
  • Laguna Lake Golf Course on Los Osos Valley Road
  • Sinsheimer Park parking lot
  • Santa Rosa Park

Flash floods can occur under several types of conditions. Flash flooding occurs when it rains rapidly on saturated soil or dry soil that has poor absorption ability. The runoff collects in gullies and streams and, as they join to form larger volumes, often forms a fast flowing front of water and debris. Flash floods most often occur in normally dry areas that have recently received precipitation, but they may be seen anywhere downstream from the source of the precipitation, even many miles from the source. 

"The best response to a storm event is a partnership between the City and the public," said Daryl Grigsby, the City's Public Works Director. "We have trained and experienced staff capable of responding to emergency events – and will be deployed in advance of the winds and rain. Our community members also play a key role in taking proactive steps and reporting incidents as they happen." 

For more information about sandbags and winter weather preparedness, visit