Be prepared: Strong storm to be followed by meaner, wetter weather

January 25, 2008
Santa Paula News

A strong storm plans to continue with meaner, wetter weather over the weekend with the worst of the event projected for Saturday.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesA strong storm plans to continue with meaner, wetter weather over the weekend with the worst of the event projected for Saturday.The storm gained strength Tuesday but it was Wednesday that brought close to 2 inches of rain to Santa Paula, when the fastest rainfall exceeded 1.4 inches an hour pounding the city and flooding streets.In all, the storm has brought more than 3.5 inches of rain to Santa Paula, according to www.spweather.netAs of Thursday morning Santa Paula has received 8.82 inches of rain for the month.“We’ve done pretty darn good so far,” Santa Paula Fire Chief Rick Araiza said Thursday morning.“We were concerned about the tract” of graded pads for the Comstock Homes development above Santa Paula Hospital as “we had quite a bit of mud” come down following the last major storm event.Chief Araiza said that the city has developed a plan with the developer that “seems to be working” to keep the earth in place during this week’s storm.The Army Corps of Engineers had cleared the mouth of the Santa Paula Creek where it spills into the Santa Clara River and Chief Araiza said that regular checks would continue.
“It looks like we weathered this one,” but checks will continue on the Comstock Homes site - slopes now covered with tarps - as well as the creek and river.With projections of a major rain event hitting Saturday including strong winds and possible small tornado events Chief Araiza said the SPFD would continue to have sandbags and sand available at Fire Station 1, located on South 10th Street.Those requesting sandbags - up to 10 can be picked up from the Fire Station - must show ID proving city residency.With the forecast calling for high winds it is possible that trees could topple...with projections of a warmer rain event snow that is covering the mountains is expected to melt early next week and heighten the risk of flooding.Residents are asked to be careful, not drive unless necessary and to avoid areas of running water...even a few inches of running water can knock an adult off their feet.Drivers should not attempt to cross deep puddles.If a structure is prone to flooding it’s best to prepare before the rain hits and causes possible damage.Time Warner Cable Channel 10 and Ready Santa Paula! Emergency Radio 1610 AM will offer updates of storm activity as needed.And if there is a flash flood warning for your area, don’t hesitate to seek higher ground.

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