Winter Storms

While Saratoga and the rest of California is still very much in a drought, winter is approaching and residents should prepare for the coming winter storms. Possible consequences of these storms include flooding, fallen trees, and landslides. However, there are things residents can do to prepare for these possible scenarios.

Know Who to Call


Residents can report fallen trees, landslides, and flooding on roads and public property in the following ways:
  • Emergencies: Call 911
  • Weekdays 6 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.: City of Saratoga at 408-868-1245
  • Weeknights after 3:30 p.m. and weekends: Santa Clara County Communications at 408-299-2507
Downed Trees

Emergency Notifications


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Flooding


Flooding typically occurs after several days of heavy rain. Flooding can occur quickly with little to no warning. Residents should stay away from flooded areas that are six inches or more in depth. That includes driving or walking. If it is difficult to tell how deep the water is, assume the worst and stay away. Santa Clara Valley Water District has a dedicated flood protection website with useful information and links. Learn what to do before, during, and after a flood from the Winter Preparedness Flyer (PDF).

Flood Map Service Center


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosts a Flood Map Service Center. The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

Sandbags


Sandbags are a great resource for keeping water off a resident's property. A line of sandbags across a driveway entrance can be a great help during heavy rains. Pre-filled sandbags are available inside the City's Corporation Yard, 19700 Allendale Avenue, during regular business hours. The City also has a 24-hour sandbag station available right outside of its Corp Yard. There are bags, sand, sandbag fillers, and shovels available all day and night. The City has a 20-bag limit per household.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a page dedicated to sandbag information, which features a map of sandbag stations throughout the County and a video on sandbag techniques. The California Department of Water Resources and California Conservation Corps also offers a two-page instructional flyer (PDF) on how to properly fill and place sandbags.

Fallen Trees


Winter storms can produce enough wind to blow trees over and, at times, into roadways. The City will clear the road immediately of the obstruction. Residents should contact the City when they come across a fallen tree in the public right-of-way.

Gutters & Downspouts


Properly maintained gutters can be the first line of defense against the elements by directing water away from homes. But they need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The National Center for Healthy Housing, a national nonprofit organization, recommends homeowners clean out their gutters and downspouts twice a year (in the spring and fall). Clogged gutters can cause water damage to homes and property, while also becoming inviting dwellings for insects and rodents.