SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) – As the atmospheric river continues to move towards the Bay Area and the forecast begins to materialize, North Bay residents are concerned, particularly in areas ravaged by last year’s massive wildfires.
“The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the 2020 burn scars,” explained Paul Lowenthal with the Santa Rosa Fire Department. “Which includes the Glass Fire, as well as the LNU complex in Sonoma County.”READ MORE: Report: San Francisco Giants Lose Free Agent Pitching Ace Kevin Gausman To Blue Jays
While there has been some beneficial rain on this land, the concern is that if the atmospheric river stalls in just the wrong place, rainfall totals could add up too quickly for damaged ground.
“If it does land over one of the burn scars, it is likely that we could see, whether it’s mud or some sort of debris flow,” Lowenthal told KPIX 5. “Small scale or large scale, obviously we don’t know at this point in time.”
“Luckily, here in Marin, we don’t have any major burn scars in our urban areas,” said Jeremy Pierce, a Battalion Chief with Marin County Fire.
The concern in Marin is the combination of wind and rain on trees that may not be ready for it.
“The main impact we’re going to have right now are trees, we still have a lot of foliage on them,” Pierce said. “They’re going to soak up some of that water, be a lot heavier. And if we get a lot of wind with that we will have a lot of trees down across roads and power lines and that kind of stuff.”
“So the tree trimming that the crews are doing across Marin County today will absolutely help with the winds that we’re expecting, and the rain that we’re expecting this weekend,” says PG&E Spokesperson Deanna Contreras.READ MORE: 'The Long Good-Bye'; New Hope In The Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease
PG&E was cutting tree limbs away from power lines across the area Friday, and they’re standing by for what will surely be an array of problems over the weekend.
“It’s pretty much all hands on deck right now, we have 350 crews right now standing by,” Contreras told KPIX 5. “Ready to roll in these different areas as the wind and the weather, rain moves through the area.”
Friday’s brief break from the rain had a lot of people out making preparations for the main event.
“The drain pipe is not working outside and water is coming in my garage,” Diane O’Rourke said as she visited her local hardware store.
“We have some preparations to do,” said another man. “We got a sponge for the gutters.”
As for how the storm system materializes, and where it makes the most impact, that’s something everyone is now watching.MORE NEWS: Returning Thanksgiving Travelers Encounter Few Delays At Local Airports
“As that storm track progresses and it gets a little bit closer to the date of when it’s going to make landfall, we’ll know whether it’s going to hit from north of us, south of us or right on in Marin,” Pierce said. “We’re gonna keep monitoring that through the weather folks.”