Weather Alert: Safety Reminders for Heavy Rain and Wind

Hi Neighbor,

Happy New Year! This e-mail includes safety reminders for heavy rain and wind from the City of Berkeley and AC Alert.

From AC Alert: “There’s still time to prepare for today’s storm: Sign up for alerts, get sandbags, charge your phone, prepare an emergency kit with flashlights, prescriptions, and important documents.”

“Avoid driving, if possible. Don’t drive through road closures or flood waters: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

Alameda County Prepare for Winter Storms Webpage

From City of Berkeley:

With another “atmospheric river” expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds starting today, help keep Berkeley safe by doing your part to reduce flooding in your neighborhood and by reporting downed power lines, clogged drains, fallen trees, and other storm-related issues.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning from Wed., Jan. 4 at 4 a.m. to Thurs., Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., and a flood watch from Wed., Jan. 4 at 4 a.m. to Thurs., Jan. 5 at 4 p.m.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to begin late Wednesday and last into early Thursday morning. Residents should prepare, stay alert, use extra caution on roads, and report issues.

  • If your property has a history of flooding, get sandbags. Sandbags are available at most hardware and home improvement stores. Additionally, a limited number of sandbags are available to Berkeley residents and businesses on a first-come first-served basis at the City’s Corporation Yard, 1326 Allston Way, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Bring your ID or a business card to verify your address.
  • Report downed power lines to 911. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 9-1-1 immediately, then notify PG&E by calling 1-800-743-5002. Do not touch or drive over a downed power line.
  • Call 311 or key city lines to report clogged storm drains, fallen trees that block roads or other storm damage. After hours, you can also call these numbers:
  • – 510-981-6620, for clogged storm drains, flooding, lights or traffic signals
  • – 510-981-6660, to report downed trees

We expect high call volumes. If you have issues unrelated to the storm, try to keep phone lines free by reporting issues via email, or our Report & Pay Tool.


Other significant storms may lie ahead. Protect your home from possible flooding by taking steps to prepare in advance:

  • – Clean on and around your property as needed: gutters, rain downspouts, driveways, and culverts. -Remove trash and debris around fences and gardens, and clear basement drains.
  • – Check submersible pumps and sump pumps to make sure they are operating properly.
  • – Keep flashlights and spare batteries on hand in case of a power failure.


Storm damage to power lines may cause outages. Stay informed by signing up to get outage alerts from PG&E for your address by text, email, or phone. PG&E also has an online outage map, which is updated every 15 minutes.

If you experience a power outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal. If you are driving and encounter a signal that is out, treat it as a four-way stop.


City crews will be working throughout the storm to address storm-related calls, but you can help reduce flooding by examining the storm drains near you.

You can use simple tools like a rake and garbage bags to remove debris from storm drains, a network that helps quickly remove surface water from our streets.

Fallen leaves and other debris can always accumulate, despite year-round efforts to maintain, inspect and clean and repair the approximately 7,000 storm drains.

Learn more about how you can clean out storm drains near you on our Adopt-a-Drain program webpage, where you can sign up to be a regular volunteer.

With the storm expected to bring heavy rain and winds, help keep your household and our community safe by reporting issues and doing your part to reduce flooding in your neighborhood.