February 22, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Council approves La Plaza park for fundraiser Schools for climate action RP Council votes to extend terms Be a part of history: Penngrove to assemble time capsule Two alarm fire displaces RP residents, destroys home Free tax prep assistance for low income residents Sonoma County reports flu death Drunk driver tries to flee scene SR woman killed by SMART train Prostitution ring uncovered RP attempting to alleviate traffic woes Crab feed comes to Penngrove Fire displaces RP residents RP City Council discusses M pool programs Mother and Son Arrested for Human Trafficking and Pimping Plaza shooter said to be suffering from depression Cotati gives thanks at annual awards night No evil puppies, just youths going to camp Cotati changes cannabis cultivation regulations Correction New businesses come to town Suspect wanted to be shot in City Center Plaza shooting Cotati-RP Unified School District makes AP District Honor Roll list Officer involved shooting: Suspect wanted to be shot by RP Public Safety officers City of Cotati: Honorary Mayor Anabel Dane RP aims to curb exposure to secondhand smoke RP approves amendment to speed up housing development Community helps TMS class reach goal Whatever happened to young newspaper carriers? CERT involvement the answer to better disaster preparedness? Wise money moves for parents under 40 2017 Home invasion: burglar arrested after entering home and committing sexual assault Holiday robbery and thefts DUI doesn’t just mean booze when behind the wheel New State laws that impact California’s law enforcement agencies New laws for California motorists Fraud Alert: Fire Debris

RP confident about flooding prep

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
January 19, 2018

With our first real storms of the season happening recently, the City of Rohnert Park urges residents to be aware of flooding danger and stay informed and prepared. Several areas of the county are at high risk for post fire related flooding. Large wildfires significantly reduce the amount of vegetation in an area, which usually absorbs rainfall and reduces runoff. Therefore, with the ground barren and unable to absorb water, wildfires have historically led to flash flooding and mudflow, exacerbated by the ash and debris left from the fires.  According to the United States Geological Survey, wildfire-related flooding and increased runoff can continue for several years.

Fortunately, Cotati and Rohnert Park are largely not at risk for post fire mudslides and fire related flooding as much as other areas of the county. Nevertheless, during wet winters the local creeks tend to overflow which can be especially exacerbated this year.

“Rohnert Park is mostly not at risk,” says John McArthur, Public Works and Community Services Director. “In any hilly topography there could be issues so we are monitoring upstream from Cook Creek and watching for debris from the fires. We are also monitoring water quality.”

The city feels confident, given the preparations they did earlier in 2017 even before the fires hit, that Rohnert Park is well prepared for winter storms.

“We [Public Works and the Water Agency] did a lot of work last year clearing vegetation,” says McArthur. “Of course water can still exceed a channel’s capacity and there is not much that can be done about that, but we’re optimistic that the work we did will help [flooding this winter]. Copeland Creek often flooded around Commerce Avenue, between Enterprise Drive and Avram Avenue, so we’ve removed a large amount of sediment. That area of the creek was a choke point and we hope that will help the flooding in that area. We did most of that work in the summer into October, so now we mainly just need to respond to plugged storm drains.”

In addition to the preparations done earlier in 2017, having our rains coming so late in the season also helps to minimize potential flooding.

“For flooding reasons, it’s good that we’re getting rains so late,” says McArthur. “If it rains a lot in October and November, when the trees drop their leaves, all the dropped leaves can clog up the storm drains. But by now all the leaves have already been dropped and the heavy rains are not so impactful for street flooding.”

Nevertheless, flooding can still occur and the City of Rohnert Park is actively assisting residents in preparing for winter storms by offering free sandbags. The bags (limited to 25 per household) are available at Callinan Sports and Fitness Center on Snyder Lane and will be available 48 hours prior to a likely storm. 

The city also urges residents to be prepared for potential storms and has a plethora of storm season information and resources listed on their website, Some pre-storm suggestions include establishing an emergency plan for family and pets and having an emergency kit prepared, making roof repairs and fixing leaks, picking up leaf litter and yard clippings before they can clog storm drains and avoiding parking near streams or creeks.

“If you’re a homeowner, make sure your gutters are clean, your property is free of debris, and alert the city if you see any problems with a storm drain on your street,” says McArthur.

If residents are asked to evacuate during a storm, the city reminds citizens to disconnect all electrical appliances and turn off gas and water supplies before leaving. Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines and drive with caution, avoiding flooded roads. 

Rohnert Park reminds residents to stay informed through local public safety notifications and tune into KCBS 740, KGO 810, or local radio channels for emergency advisories and instructions.

For questions on sandbag distribution, please call the Public Works Department at (707) 588-3300.