San Joaquin County will be on a flood watch this weekend, with areas in the region expected to see several inches of rainfall over the next few days. 

The National Weather service is forecasting “widespread moderate to heavy precipitation” throughout Northern California this weekend, including areas of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

“We do have a (weather) system that will move through the area tonight into tomorrow,” NWS Meteorologist Idamis Del Valle-Shoemaker told Stocktonia earlier in the day Wednesday. “That will bring light to moderate precipitation. And then a stronger system Friday through Saturday.”

Initially Del Valle-Shoemaker said the flood watch for valley and delta areas would run from Friday morning through Saturday night, but the National Weather Service later extended the watch to be in effect until early Sunday morning. Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys are expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of rain and the foothills 3 to 6 inches.

The National Weather Service is also warning of moderate levels of snowfall in the Sierra Nevadas and that drivers planning to head up into the mountains should prepare “for travel delays, chain controls, and reduced visibilities at times.”

A weather system earlier in the week that moved through the region showered Stockton with nearly 1.5 inches of precipitation and Modesto 1.09 inches, Del Valle-Shoemaker said. 

“For this system, tonight through tomorrow night, we’re looking at about a half inch to three quarters of an inch,” Del Valle-Shoemaker said. “Might be a little higher for the northern San Joaquin Valley.” 

Because the ground is and will be already saturated from smaller storms, flooding is possible with a larger storm following closely behind, Del Valle-Shoemaker said. If the flood events do occur, she says the most likely areas to be affected are those near smaller rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations, such as urban areas where the ground is unable to absorb rain runoff.

And the rain will not end with this weekend.

“We do have additional storms (forecasted for) next week,” Del Valle-Shoemaker said. “There could be breaks in between, but at this point it’s uncertain.”

The city of Stockton says it’s ready for the upcoming weather systems. Spokesperson Connie Cochran told Stocktonia that the city conducts an annual cleanup in September and continued maintenance through the winter of areas that have a tendency to collect debris, such as catch basins, pump stations and under overpasses.

“We prepare every fall for this,” Cochran said “We know the areas prone to flooding and collecting debris and go and clean them as needed.”

Residents can also help prevent flooding by keeping streets clear by placing any yard trimmings and leaves in their organics carts or in a bag next to the cart for waste collection, Cochran said.

Municipal utilities and public works employees are also scheduled to be on standby for storm response, Cochran said.

Stocktonians can call the city’s Municipal Service Center to report any localized street flooding, downed trees or tree limbs that are blocking public areas such as streets and malfunctioning traffic lights or signals, she said. 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.

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