With a strong El Niño on track to bring a wet winter, the City of Aliso Viejo is proactively taking steps to be prepared.
City storm drains have been cleaned, development projects are regularly inspected, sandbags have been stockpiled and crews will be available to respond as needed during rain events.
The National Weather Climate Prediction Center is reporting a 95% chance that El Niño will continue strongly through the winter.
That means we should see a steady rainy season from about January through April. Current conditions and predictions resemble the 1997-98 El Niño, which had a devastating impact on Southern California.
With rain comes potential hazards like flooding, debris flow and mudslides, power outages, downed power lines and trees as well as roof collapses. However, there are steps you can take today to reduce the personal risks and impact on your property.
First, learn about the potential hazards that face your property by typing in your address at http://myhazards.caloes.ca.gov/.
Next, be sure to:
1. Inspect your property for any damage now and complete any needed repairs to the roof, rain gutters, etc.
2. Have your rain gutters cleaned and cleared of any debris that will cause them to clog when it rains.
3. Trim your trees and bushes. The lack of water due to drought conditions has caused vegetation to become more brittle and susceptible to breakage from wind and rain.
4. Stock up on sandbags now if you think you’ll need them. Free sandbags will be available at our local fire station. Call the City of Aliso Viejo at 425-2500 for details.
5. Take pictures of your property before El Niño hits and consider purchasing flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area. It can take 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect.
Finally, be prepared for the risks associated with El Niño:
1. Prepare for power outages. Have flashlights, extra batteries as well as a battery and/or crank-powered radio in your disaster kit.
2. Have enough water for at least 3 days for each person and pet in your household: 1 gallon per person/pet per day for drinking.
3. Have enough non-perishable food for at least 3 days.
4. Know what to do in a flood. According to the National Weather Service, 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. Twelve inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, and 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
The City is also preparing for El Niño through collaborative training and exercises with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Fire Authority and contracted public works entities.
For more information, contact Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-425-2598.
Additional information is available here.
Click here for a complete list of contacts to report El Nino-related incidents.
This page will be updated with news and information during storm events.