SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
A series of strong storms have hit Northern California since the turn of 2023.
A number of communities have seen devastating flooding, days of power outages, and other impacts.
Flooding will continue to be a concern throughout the foreseeable future as rivers and streams will not have much time to recede before additional rain arrives.
The ABC10 team has created a resource guide to help you prepare.
You can find updates on the weather HERE.
Sign up for emergency alerts:
Track the Storm
Radar map from ABC10.com. Adjust the layers with a filter on the bottom right corner to show rain, snow, wind and current temperatures:
Track the Traffic
Live map showing traffic conditions in the Sacramento region:
► RELATED: Tips and tricks for putting chains on your tires this winter and remember to avoid driving through high water.
PG&E power outages:
► RELATED: 5 hacks to get you through a power outage
Know the lingo:
A flood watch or flash flood watch means there is a possibility of flooding or a flash flood in your area.
A flood warning means a flood is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
A flash flood warning means a flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately; do not wait for instructions.
What to do before a flood occurs:
There are a couple key steps you can take if you are anticipating flooding in your area. First, it’s important to understand your risk for floods. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to know flood risks near your home. If you’re preparing for a flood, you should also make a plan for your household and pets. Flood damages can get expensive, so be sure to purchase or renew your flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding.
Finally, keep important documents in a waterproof container and move valuables to higher levels. Need more information? Click HERE.
What should you know if you live behind a levee during a flood watch or flood warning?
American Society of Civil Engineers’ “So, You Live Behind a Levee! Brochure” will help you protect your home during a potential flood.
What to do to protect your property from flooding:
Sacramento County has a list of recommendations to prepare your home for a flood,
Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.
Prepare a portable kit of emergency supplies in case you have to evacuate.
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a thunderstorm hazard, including understanding the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a severe thunderstorm warning.
Be prepared to evacuate.
If time allows, bring in outside furniture and move your valuables to higher places in your home.
Unplug electrical appliances, moving them to higher levels, if possible. However, do not touch an electric appliance if you are wet or standing in water. If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate.
If your home floods:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says one inch of flooding can cause $25,000 worth of damage. That’s when you should file a claim with flood insurance. General flood insurance is done through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by FEMA. When people get insurance from the government program, it will take 30 days to go into effect. Learn more HERE.
If you aren’t covered by flood insurance, you can prepare by taking a home inventory. State Farm Insurance told ABC10 when it comes to checking out damage to a home or car, safety should always come first. When you are able, you should document any damage by taking photos or videos. This will help make filing an insurance claim faster and easier. For tips on what type of damage you should document, click HERE.
Staying safe from floods:
“Turn around, don’t drown.” Safety officials are urging drivers to be cautious and listen to warnings before taking a chance on the road in dangerous conditions, including flooding. Officials tell us you should always avoid driving through standing water because you won’t know how deep the water is or how fast it’s moving. If you are out on the road, have an alternate travel route plan and don’t drive around barricades. If you see street flooding, you should call 311 to report. Over the weekend, fire crews already made dozens of water rescues. Find out more HERE.
What to do after a flood:
The Ready Campaign has guidance for what to do after a flood.
Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
Avoid driving except in emergencies.
Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
Many communities across Northern California are being asked to evacuate or prepare to evacuate. Here are some tips from Ready.gov for you to know in case you are asked to leave.
- Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
- Check with local officials about what shelter spaces are available for this year.
- Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
- If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
- Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
- Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation. Prepare a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling longer distances if you have a car.
- Download the FEMA app for a list of open shelters during an active disaster in your local area.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts, they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.
- If you are returning to disaster-affected areas, after significant events prepare for disruptions to daily activities and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.
- Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.
- Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
- Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.
- Avoid downed power or utility lines, they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
For more information, click HERE.
To learn what to have in an emergency kit, view Cal Fire's full emergency supply kit checklist here.
Flood maps and resources:
- City of Sacramento flood evacuation map
- Sacramento County flood evacuation maps
- San Joaquin County flood evacuation maps
- Butte County flood evacuation maps
- Placer County flood information site
- City of Roseville flood simulation map
- Solano County flood information
- Stanislaus County flood information site
- Sutter County flood evacuation maps
- Yolo County flood evacuation maps
- Yuba County flood information site
State of Emergencies in place:
Follow these organizations and resources for the latest updates:
If you would like to report flooding or a water related problem in your area, please call 311.
The City of Sacramento
Reclamation District 1000
National Weather Service Sacramento
- Sacramento Fire Department
Sacramento Police Department
Twitter: @SacPolice | Phone (non-emergencies): 916-808-5471
- Sacramento County Department of Water Resources
- Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services (OES)
Caltrans for road information:
- California Highway Patrol:
- California DWR
Twitter: @CA_DWR | Phone: 916-653-5791
- Placer County Sheriff
Twitter: @PlacerSheriff | Phone: 916-652-2400
- Placer County
- City of Stockton
- Sacramento Tree Foundation: Visit their website for more information on tree removal HERE.
- Sacramento Public Library: The library has a number of items you can rent out if needed. You can visit their page HERE.
- National Levee Database: Search all levees across the United States HERE.
- Reclamation Districts: You can visit their page HERE.
- El Dorado County new Website: It provides information about emergency alerts, sandbag locations, weather, County road closures, utilities & more HERE.
- "CalFresh policy permits the replacement of benefits due to disaster or household misfortune," according to the California Department of Social Services. "Recipients who have experienced food loss due to disaster or household misfortune must contact their local county office within 10 days of the loss to request replacement benefits."
GO DEEPER: When you think of California's climate, drought probably comes to mind first, but California has a long history of floods. Some floods were so punishing and relentless they crippled the state. New research indicates these "megafloods" are twice as likely in the future with a changing climate. It's a future we can't avoid, but we can learn from the past and prepare. ABC10's team of meteorologists investigated the topic, answering questions like: What exactly is a megaflood? Can our infrastructure withstand it?