Flooding concerns ahead of storm in areas burned during Sonoma County’s Kincade Fire

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — Lots of people who live in parts of Sonoma County impacted by the Kincade Fire are pretty anxious Friday night.

The National Weather Service issued a  Flash Flood Watch ahead of the weekend storm.

“With the storm you never know what’s going to happen,” said Santa Rosa resident Julia Boyce.

A Flash Flood Watch in the forecast means it is time to get prepared for this Santa Rosa family. 

They are loading up sandbags here at the city municipal services center. 

The bags will be used to prevent the rain from damaging their home

“Every time it rains we got to move everything out of our garage. We got to sandbag it every time it rains,” said resident Todd Grippin.

Santa Rosa’s assistant fire chief says the city is expecting a lot of rain. 

“We are expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain here in Santa Rosa and that’s a lot of rain,” he said. 

Assistant Fire Chief Paul Lowenthal says erosion in the areas impacted by season after season of wildfires is a major concern.

“Here in Sonoma County it seems like it has become year long preparedness,” he said. “We go from fire season quickly into winter. With that does come the potential of flooding in certain parts of our burn scars the potential for debris and mud slides.”

Housing construction sites are particularly vulnerable in these weather conditions

“Right now in Santa Rosa we have approximately 11,000 properties under construction and a lot of them are in the fountaingrove area,” Lowenthal said. “Our concern is when we get these excessive rainfall rates is that the water goes where it needs to go and that people are putting their sandbags out, their gravel bags.” 

He says although the Flash Flood Advisory is primarily in the northern part of the county impacted by the recent Kincade Fire, the impacted area could change. 

“There is always the potential that it will shift to the north or the south,” Lowenthal said.

Officials with the City of Santa Rosa are advising those who live in flood prone areas to be prepared including keeping cell phones charged in the event of an emergency alert.

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