The Directors of Emergency Services proclaimed that a local state of emergency now exists in San Joaquin County.
The decision was made due to extreme public safety conditions caused by atmospheric rivers and continuing cascading impacts from earlier winter storms which began on March 1. The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors is expected to ratify the proclamation during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
“The County is still recovering from the damages and impacts of severe winter storms in December and January, and is now dealing with the impacts of this recent series of ongoing winter storms that initially struck California beginning in late February and continue to significantly impact the County,” said Tiffany Heyer, Director of the Office of Emergency Services. “The proclamation will afford the County additional flexibility when managing floodwaters, obtaining resources, and allow for the possibility of state and federal reimbursement.”
Due to isolated flooding events in San Joaquin County along with damage from past storms, the local emergency was proclaimed to help local first responders deal with possible impacts. In addition to the proclamation, the San Joaquin County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on March 10 as a cautionary measure. This allows the EOC to further prepare for potential flood events with the county’s cities, local irrigation districts, and other partnering agencies. The EOC will remain activated until the current series of weather systems subsides.
“Residents can be sure that County leadership is coordinating efforts among all our community’s resources to best prepare for and respond to any challenges presented by the current storm systems,” said Robert Rickman, the county board of supervisors president.
Residents are asked to avoid flooded roads, remain clear of fast-moving creeks and rivers, and follow all emergency signage. When driving in the rain, always turn on your headlights.
Sandbags will remain available throughout the County. Up to date information on road closures, how and where to report flooding and downed trees, sandbag locations, and evacuation orders can be found at https://sjready.org/events/winter-storm.