CAMARILLO, Calif. – Heavy rains are predicted Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Ventura County. In anticipation of the forecasted storm, Ventura County public safety agencies are encouraging people to prepare.
While heavy rain can cause flooding under normal circumstances, the impact following a wildfire can be tremendously worsened. This is because the vegetation that typically absorbs the rainwater on the hillside is not there, thus locations downhill and downstream from burned areas are very susceptible to flash flooding and debris flow, especially near steep terrain.
A good rule of thumb per the National Weather Service is: “If you can look uphill from where you are and see a burnt-out area, you are at risk.”
Residents living in, and around Thomas Fire burn areas or near flood-prone areas, need to prepare for this storm as well as the rest of the rainy season. Plan ahead by signing up and taking the following additional steps:
- Sign-up to receive “VC Alert” mobile messages by contacting VC Alert Hotline at (805) 648-9283 or visiting www.vcalert.org. Subscribers will receive emergency notifications such as evacuation notices specific to their neighborhood.
- Make sure extra supplies are on hand at home, including a flashlight, water, food, personal medical supplies, filled prescriptions and a charged smartphone with internet access in case local roads are temporarily closed.
- Download a “Ready, Set, Go!” flood preparation plan and follow its guidance.
Get Local Assistance:
- Need additional sandbags? Stop by a local fire station or call 805-371-1111 to check supplies. Please be prepared to fill and transport sandbags. Supplies can also be purchased at local hardware stores.
- Learn how to use sandbags to divert water and redirect debris away from properties.
- If you see a nearby storm drain that is blocked, contact your local city public works department or Ventura County Public Works at (805) 654-2001.
Pay Attention During the rain
- Monitor Ventura County’s local emergency website, and the local website of the National Weather Service for urgent weather updates and local emergency information.
- Do not cross roads or areas covered by flowing water and keep away from flood control debris basins, channels, facilities and river beds.
SUN News Editor-in-Chief and retired former VCFD Captain, Jules Griggs says: “When there is an increased chance of flooding, First Responders typically augment staffing, including the activation of swift water teams. They also offer sandbags at local fire stations to assist residents and businesses in being prepared for minor flooding. It is critical that people stay apprised of changing conditions and follow any evacuation orders.”