While there are no guarantees of an El Niño to hit this winter, residents throughout California are being asked to prepare for, what looks to be, a possibly wet winter. But, did you know that the City of Sacramento works year round to prepare for winter storms?

In an effort to lessen the harmful impacts of any potential storms, the City’s urban forest division provides routine preemptive tree maintenance throughout the city on regular cycles. Work crews maintain street trees on a tree-by-tree, block-by-block basis, ensuring that all public trees are inspected and pruned on a regular basis. Staff also works to ensure services are distributed equitably throughout the city. During a storm event, extra crews are on-call after hours responding to hundreds of calls to our 311 Center.

The City also inspects and maintains floodgates throughout, and stores materials close to floodgates or areas prone to flooding. Not only does this provide easy access to materials when needed, but it also helps City crews open a sandbag station within two hours of being instructed to do so. As part of a routine procedure, the City holds drills to rehearse floodgate closures to ensure that the floodgates are quickly closed during an emergency.

Are you storm ready?

Here are some simple steps for you take in case of possible heavy storms:

  1. The drought has impacted the health and structural conditions of many trees. As part of routine maintenance, it is important to have a certified arborist inspect trees for any potential issues. In high winds and wet weather, fallen trees or broken tree branches can seriously damage property.
  1. Limit leaf disposal on the street. During Leaf Season, customers are encouraged to fill their yard waste container FIRST before putting leaves on the street for collection. If a storm is expected, put your leaves on the lawn until it is closer to your anticipated collection day. If you have a pile of leaves on the street, please use a broom to ensure that water can flow down the gutter and to the nearest storm drain.
  1. If your property floods, buy sand bags. Don’t wait for an emergency. Sacramento will only distribute sand bags if flooding is imminent and an emergency is declared by the City Manager. Take action in advance to protect your property.
  1. Get flood insurance. Check out Flood Ready for more information, and learn how to have an emergency plan in place. You can also visit Sacramento Ready for more information on how you can prepare your family and community for a flooding disaster.