Flash flood watch issued for Sunday for Sonoma County burn zones, other parts of Bay Area
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for portions of the North Bay Sunday, particularly areas burned in 2020 by wildfires.
The watch is in effect from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In Sonoma County, areas burned in the Glass, Hennessey and Walbridge fires are at risk, as well as terrain burned in the Meyers and Woodward blazes along the coast. The latter area will be hit first by the incoming cold front to hit Saturday evening, said Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist for the weather service.
The incoming atmospheric river is expected to bring 6 to 7 inches of rain to the county.
A wind advisory also will be in effect for the entire Bay Area Sunday.
In the North Bay, it will be in effect 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the Bay Area will be under the advisory 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Winds are expected to reach 25 mph with gusts as strong as 60 mph. Homeowners are encouraged to secure their outdoor properties and be aware tree limbs could blow down.
The weather service is encouraging people to stay prepared and vigilant for flash floods, power outages, landslides and evacuation orders.
“Especially if you live near old burn scars, please listen to local officials and if they ask you to evacuate, then please heed those orders,” Bingaman said.
Fires, which change the soil composition, make the scar sections absorb less water, causing rainfall to run off and cause flooding.
The weather service also warned of flooding in urban areas with lots of concrete and poor drainage.
Bingaman advised people to avoid driving on Sunday and be prepared for the possibility of power outages. Those that live in an area with one road that could get cut off by fallen trees or mudslides, should make sure to have enough food and water to last a few days.
If the flood watch is upgraded to a warning, those registered with the county’s SoCoAlert system who have weather alerts turned on.
For anyone who wants to stave off flooding, sandbags are available at the county Municipal Services Center North, 55 Stony Point Road, in Santa Rosa. This location is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
(Track the wet weather using the real-time radar map below)
You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @alana_minkler.
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