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Atmospheric river expected to hit Peninsula by next week

County advises residents to prepare homes for storms

If the recent brisk air wasn't a sign that winter weather has arrived, then next week's anticipated heavy rainfall should be enough for residents to break out their galoshes, raincoats and umbrellas.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Alexis Clouser said multiple systems are forming in the Alaskan region and the tropics south of Hawaii that could result in an atmospheric river, which could bring an estimated total of 2 to 4 inches of rain over a few days. However, she warns that the NWS is still unsure which days to expect the precipitation and the total amount of rainfall to expect.

"Pay attention to the weather forecast, but aside from that, certainly heed local authorities' guidance and advice; if you are traveling on the road, make sure your windshield wipers are in proper working order, give yourself extra time to get to where you need to," Clouser said. "Take it slow, and avoid driving through flooded roadways; it only takes a couple of inches of water to move a person and only a few more inches to move a car." 

Kim Velarde, San Mateo County Road Services administrator, said last year's historic rain brought an influx of people throughout the county looking for sandbags at the last minute, and she suggests this year, residents who are concerned about their properties should prepare ahead of time by cleaning gutters, ditches and preparing with sandbags.

"We are suggesting residents prepare in advance; if you are concerned about protecting your property, don't wait until the storm hits," Velarde said.

The county prepared its five corporation yards with free loose sand and bags, which unincorporated residents are asking those in need to limit themselves to 15 sandbags per home. 

Velarde said county residents are also welcome to grab sandbags if needed. Premade sandbags are available in Redwood City, La Honda, and Pescadero corporation yards by reservation only. Residents can make reservations on the county's website. Residents can pick up their order 24 hours after the reservation is confirmed. 

According to its website, Redwood City suggests residents stay prepared for power outages by keeping an extra flashlight, food, and water in the home and vehicle in case of an emergency. 

Additionally, residents can sign up for SMC alerts for alerts on floods, fire, severe weather, crime alerts, major road closures and warnings, which include evacuation routes and emergency shelter locations, according to the county website. Pacific Gas and Electric's website shows viewers power outage alerts and estimated time range of outages.

For the remainder of the week, NWS expects temperatures to be in the high 60s to low 70s, and it anticipates overnight lows to reach the high 40s to low 50s. The first chance of rain in the county is expected Monday, according to the NWS website.

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