Central California first responders prepared to help with weather emergencies

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Juan Delgado stopped by the Coalinga Fire Department Tuesday night for some sandbags ahead of the storm.

"My charging cables, I'm charged, the portable banks," he said. "Flashlights are rechargeable, getting all prepared. In a way, it's good because we need the water, but it's also scary."

Coalinga Fire officials say hundreds of sandbags have been picked up.

The department is also stepping up staff to respond to any weather emergencies quickly.

"We normally have six, which we do have here, but we do have approximately four to five employees that are local that will be on call for the evening," says Coalinga Fire Engineer Isaac Rodriguez.

The Coalinga Police chief says city public works employees have been clearing gutters and providing sand to residents, even delivering some to older residents.

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Officers with the police department will be keeping an eye on flood prone areas.

"Our patrol team will be monitoring bridges in two parts of town," says Darren Blevins. "The department has gassed up all their fleets and will be responding to all weather-related emergency calls and being prepared to evacuate any citizens in Coalinga in case of a flash flood."

Several inches of rain are predicted for the area, and the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning starting at midnight Wednesday.

The Fresno County sheriff's deputies say their concern is in the creek fire burn scar area.

They've created a map for residents advising that of areas that are at risk of mudslides, and ultimately, evacuations.

"You can type in your address, it'll take you to the exact zone of where your house is and it'll let you know if your in an evacuation zone or if you have nothing to worry about," says Tony Botti.

The California Highway Patrol will also be patrolling highways for hazardous conditions.

Some residents say while they're glad for rain, they hope it won't cause destruction.

"It's going to be heavy rain, so we'll see I guess," says Moses Lopez. "But I gotta be ready."

There are possibilities of power outages due to wind, so emergency officials advise residents to have flashlights readily available and have a plan for food, medication, and other necessities.

Try to stay off the road as much as possible, and do not try to drive over water on the roadway.
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