Northern Californians are bracing themselves for another storm system moving into the area this week that will bring “strong, damaging” winds and more flooding.

The National Weather Service warns of moderate to heavy rain and wind from Wednesday to Thursday afternoon throughout California’s northern Central Valley. 

Southerly winds are forecasted to be between 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 to 65 miles per hour.

“Strongest winds are expected this afternoon through early (Thursday morning), the weather service said. “Downed trees (and) widespread power outages are expected!”

As a preemptive push for safety, Stockton officials closed all city parks Tuesday afternoon, with residents being warned not to “access, pass through, or walk” near these public spaces as storm conditions have weakened tree branches and roots.

The San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys saw some precipitation Wednesday morning before experiencing a reprieve later in the afternoon, with the sun even breaking through the cloud cover for a short time. But by 4 p.m. the sun had gone and storm clouds were moving in, bringing with them strong, gusty winds.

“The wind is arriving,” the weather service said just before 5 p.m. “The strong winds will increase and expand in coverage across the Valley and foothills early this evening.”

This weather system will compound storm damage from a series of weather systems that hit the region through the New Year’s Eve holiday. Both the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys saw several inches of rain last week as multiple storms dumped precipitation over California’s Central Valley, the largest of which hit over the holiday weekend, bringing widespread flooding, major road closures, property damage, power loss and at least one death.

Stockton even broke multiple December rain records, including washing away a daily record Saturday by nearly two inches.

“Really, the whole month of December has been impressive for the Sacramento, Stockton area,” NWS meteorologist Cory Mueller told Stocktonia Tuesday, noting they both had seen a “very wet” month.

Areas of the southern Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys are forecasted to receive another 1 to 3 inches of rain from Wednesday to Thursday, Muller said. Both days will be “pretty wet,” he added.

San Joaquin County and the city of Stockton declared local emergencies Sunday as a result of the dangerous conditions these storms have and will likely continue to wreak, according to the national weather service, until at least the middle of January. 

The county’s Board of Supervisors ratified Wednesday the declaration, proclaimed by the county Office of Emergency Services as the board had been on recess since last month, during its first meeting of the year. 

City Manager Harry Black, who also acts as the city’s director of emergency services when required and can declare an emergency without Council approval when the governing body is not in session and cannot be immediately called to do so, signed the city’s proclamation. Stockton City Council doesn’t have its first meeting until next week.

One of the main things people should remember in the coming days is to avoid flooded roadways, Mueller says. These areas are dangerous because it’s hard to gauge how deep the water is or how fast it’s rising.

One person was found dead inside a submerged vehicle along a flooded roadway in south Sacramento County last week. 

“It’s not worth it,” he said.

Here’s some additional information for Stocktonians:

Residents are encouraged to call the city’s Municipal Service Center to report any localized street flooding malfunctioning traffic lights or signals or downed trees or tree limbs that are blocking public areas such as streets, city spokesperson Connie Cochran said earlier last week. Calls during business hours will go straight to city employees, while after-hour callers should follow voicemail instructions, which will be passed along through Stockton Fire Department dispatch to city personnel.

To reach the Stockton Municipal Service Center call (209) 937-8341.

Stockton has also opened warming zones, where people have access to water, snacks, restrooms and heat. Checkout more information below.

Here’s a list of current full and partial Stockton road closures as of 6 p.m. Wednesday:

  • Henry Long Boulevard at Star Street (partial closure)
  • Lower Sacramento Road Underpass at Wakefield between Grider Way and Eight Mile Road
  • Morada Lane at Perino Drive (partial closure)
  • Ponce De Leon Avenue at Santa Maria Way (partial closure) 
  • Ponce De Leon Avenue at Lower Sacramento Road (partial closure)
  • Stoney Gorge Drive at Eight Mile Road (partial closure)
  • Swain Road, westbound, at Tam O’Shanter Drive (partial closure)
  • Swain Road at Welch Avenue (partial closure)
  • Windy Cove Circle at Bridlewood Circle
  • 1700 block of East Worth Street

“Avoid driving,” city officials say. “Do not drive, ride, walk or wade through flooded areas.”

For Additional up-to-date information on storm preparedness, assistance and Stockton road closures, visit the city’s website here.

Self-service, self-fill sandbags are being offered for free to Stockton residents at the following locations as well:

“Bring your own shovel,” city officials say. “Fill bags one-half to two-thirds full. Bags must lay flat to stack and prevent leaks.”

More information can be found on the city’s website here.

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