Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
National Weather Service Warning System
The National Weather Service issues weather advisories and watches when the weather forecast indicates there is a potential for hazardous conditions. Watches and advisories are shared online at weather.gov/alerts, and on the National Weather Service social media Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Sign up for Sonoma County Emergency Alerts
Sign up to receive emergency notifications at SoCoAlert.com. SoCoAlert will be used to send an emergency notification if there is an imminent threat to life or property.
Weather Emergency Radios
In areas where there is limited cell service, or if a power outage occurs, Emergency Warnings from the National Weather Service will be announced on the Weather Emergency Radios, which rely on batteries.
Emergency Public Hotlines
Flood Forecast Hotline: 707-526-4768
The Flood Forecast is a recording that provides updates on local river conditions. The recordings are updated by the Sonoma County Water Agency as conditions change.
Stream Maintenance: 707-521-1845
Report any stream related issues, such as debris or stream channel changes, to prevent localized flooding.
Downed Trees blocking Public Right of Way: 707-543-3770
Report trees blocking roadways, sidewalks, and creeks, during office hours 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and after hours at 707-543-3805. In the event of an emergency such as downed power lines or a tree that is causing an immediate life/safety issue please call 911.
Roadway Flooding: 707-543-3800
Report minor flooding in the roadway during business hours. After hours, call 707-543-3805.
Power Outages: 1-800-743-5000
Please report power outages to PG&E.
Safety Tips for Severe Storm Weather
- Avoid unnecessary travel and slow down to a speed safe for the conditions.
- Clear leaves from drains and gutters.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving.
- Have supplies in the event of an extended power outage (food, batteries, blankets, battery, flashlights, etc).
- Make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries.
- Never drive over a downed power line.
- Secure loose outdoor objects (holiday decorations, patio furniture, etc).
- Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home; watch for fallen branches and limbs.
- The usage of candles is discouraged. In the event you opt to use them, do not leave candles unattended.
Safety Tips for Extreme Cold
- The Recreation & Parks Department operates several heated lobbies which are open to the public during the day. Please note, these community spaces are not warming centers and no warming center services or amenities are provided.
- Finley Recreation Complex: 2060 West College Ave., M-F, 8am-6pm
- Steele Lane Community Center: 415 Steele Ln., M-F, 9am-5:30pm
- Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
- Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.
Sand and Sandbags Available for City Residents to Control Rain-Run-off on Properties
Each year, the City's Sandbag Station is available to residents throughout the rainy season. If you need to control rain run-off on your property, sand and bags are available for City residents at the City Municipal Services Center at 55 Stony Point Rd. The yard is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Materials are available throughout the entire rain season, not only during storm events. Simply by showing your ID to verify your City of Santa Rosa address, City residents can drive into the Municipal Services Center Yard and access the sandbag filling station. There is no charge for City residents to utilize the Sandbag Station. Shovels will be on hand for residents to fill bags with sand. Residents should plan to transport the sandbags in a vehicle they don't mind getting dirty and should note that the sand has been stored outdoors so the sandbags may be heavy and muddy to transport. Questions? Contact 707-543-3800, M-F, 8am-5pm, or 707-543-3805 on weekends and after-hours.
Important Rain-Ready Information for Property Owners Whose Properties are Located Within or Around the Wildfire Burn Scar Area
Properties located within fire burn areas may still be at risk for flash floods, mudflows and debris flows. To familiarize yourself with the potential hazards associated with the burned areas please view the Post-Fire Hazard Assessment Map.
What Property Owners Can Do To Be Prepared
The National Weather Service expects debris flows to become more likely during periods of intense rainfall. Be prepared by:
- Identifying vulnerable areas on your property.
- Using erosion control techniques, such as installing wattles and rock bags, and clearing fire-related debris from creeks and drainages to reduce flooding.
- Have an evacuation and emergency plan ready.
- Keep your cell phone turned on at all times to receive emergency alerts.
- Sonoma Water has installed rainfall and stream gauges in watersheds in burned areas and is working to install radar equipment to improve early warning forecasts for residents in high-risk areas. Use this link for real-time data: www.sonoma.onerain.com
National Weather Service Warning System
- The National Weather Service issues weather advisories and watches when the weather forecast indicates there is a potential for hazardous conditions. Watches and advisories are shared online at weather.gov/alerts, and on the National Weather Service social media Facebook and Twitter feeds.
- Warning: The National Weather Service will issue a Warning if hazardous conditions are imminent or occurring within the burn areas.
- The National Weather Service sends Warnings over the Wireless Emergency Alerts system that will send a message to all cell phones in the burn areas and will also send out alerts through the Emergency Alert System that broadcasts on radios and televisions.
Visit sonomacountyrecovers.org/rain-ready, for additional property owner resources and information on preparing for rainy weather in fire-impacted areas.