Merced County preps for flooding ahead of weekend storm

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The city fire department says Bear Creek and Black Rascal Creek are the two they are closely monitoring. They say water levels are low but with the storm's they're expecting, that can quickly change. (KFSN)

Merced city and county officials are keeping a close eye on local creeks as the upcoming storms move in. Crews will be on standby throughout the weekend as officials expect to see the wettest storm they've seen in years.

The city fire department says Bear Creek and Black Rascal Creek are the two they are closely monitoring. They say water levels are low but with the storm's they're expecting, that can quickly change. And the people who live next to it aren't wasting any time getting prepared.

"You're better off to be safe than sorry because, by the time the water comes up, you can have the bags ready," resident Stephanie Perez said.

The 23-year-old Merced native says she just moved into a home along Bear Creek. Along with grabbing sandbags, she's making other preparations to stay safe during the upcoming storms.

"Making sure that all my stuff is charged, making sure I have all my foods ready," Perez said.

Parts of the county are already seeing some flooding. The area of Burt Crane Road near Bear Creek is already submerged.

"We have some troublesome areas that we're focusing on right now," county official Mike North said. "We're going to keep monitoring during the rainfall. North also says they're collectively working with the city and irrigation districts to fully prepare by checking on local creeks and rivers.

"We're preparing for the worst and hoping it lessens a little bit," he said.

The Merced County Office of Emergency Services is also urging people to sign up for their notifications they will be sending throughout the storm.

"We can text message, phone call, email as well," Jeremy Rahn with the department said. "That resident is able to pick up to five locations within the county in the event something happens."

The City of Merced Fire Department says they're keeping an eye on areas that could flood, specifically by the creeks and rivers.

"We went out this morning and did a dashboard survey," Deputy Fire Chief Billy Alcorn explained. "We went out to all the flood-prone areas we've had in the past and seeing what areas have been impacted the most and drove the entire city and plan for those events."

The department has an emergency operations center that will be activated if needed, and the city will have crews on standby.

"We're going to watch Bear Creek and Black Rascal Creek," Alcorn said. "And we're going to be ready to respond if anything does occur."

Meanwhile, several sandbag locations are open throughout the city and county for anyone to come by a sand location, grab a bag and be ready.

Related Topics:
newsmerced countyfloodingweatherMerced County
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