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Press Release

City of Tracy Urges Residents to Prepare for El Niño Storms

Volunteers needed for the “Maintain-A-Drain” Program

Posted: Nov 17, 2015
Location: Tracy, Calif.

Tracy, Calif.  – In preparation for the winter season, and a possible El Niño storm system, the City of Tracy has begun removing debris from storm drains and channels to minimize potential flooding in streets and neighborhoods. The goal is to keep Tracy a safe place for all residents and visitors; and to help protect homes, businesses and the environment from inclement weather conditions. These efforts also help avert pollution from reaching our local waterways. 

Unlike the previous dry winter seasons, the National Weather Service is predicting significant rain due to a tropical El Niño system. El Niño is characterized by the above average warming of water temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This warming pattern may produce storm weather systems that generate heavy rain and floods.
The City of Tracy would like to make residents and businesses aware of two programs that can assist with storm damage prevention. First is the ‘Maintain-A-Drain’ Program. Community volunteers can assist with keeping storm drains in their neighborhoods or business areas free of debris. Volunteers who choose to participate will receive a kit from the City which includes a rain poncho, leaf rake, safety vest, and plastic bags. By removing debris before it enters storm drains, runoff is allowed to move more freely through the City’s storm drainage system.  Volunteers may join the “Maintain-A-Drain” Program by contacting the Public Works Department at (209) 831-6300. 
“Residents can play an integral part in keeping the streets from flooding by volunteering to ‘Maintain-A-Drain.’  Preventative maintenance is the key to help alleviate flooding around town and residents can help make a difference,” stated Interim Public Works Director, Don Scholl.   
The second way that residents and businesses can help prevent storm-related damage is by placing sandbags in flood prone areas.  The City will supply up to 6 sandbags per household/business.  During inclement weather conditions, sandbags will be available for pick up inside Gate #1 of the Public Works Department’s, Boyd Service Center, 520 N. Tracy Boulevard. Please contact the Public Works Department at the phone number above for hours of operation and sandbag availability.
Residents can also follow these helpful tips to prevent flooding in their neighborhoods:
        Check and clean private drainage systems.
        Keep leaves, debris, trash and/or lawn clippings out of storm drains or street gutters.
        Place leaves and green trimmings in the brown garbage tote for bi-weekly pickup.
        Keep natural waterways free from obstructions.
        Report flooding problems to the Public Works Department at 209- 831-6300.
        Volunteer to ‘Maintain-A-Drain.’
To prepare for hazardous weather conditions, households are encouraged to create a disaster kit with the following items included: flashlight, extra batteries, three-day supply of bottled water, three-day supply of non-perishable food items, medications, first aid kit, radio, list of important phone numbers (family, physicians, etc.), copy of home insurance policy, credit cards and cash, an extra set of car keys, rabbit-ear television antennas to use if cable or satellite access is unavailable. For an extensive list of items to add to your supply kit, please visit the American Red Cross website at: https://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-html/kit-contents.asp.
The City of Tracy would also like the public to be aware of the following contact information and safety tips:
  • To report a life-threatening emergency call 9-1-1
  • The non-emergency number for the Tracy Police Department is 209- 831-6550
  • The non-emergency number for the Tracy Fire Department is 209-831-6700
  • During regular business hours, the Public Works Department can be reached at 209-831-6300
  • After hours, the Public Works Department can be reached by contacting the Tracy Police Department main line at 209-831-6550.
  • AT&T/PacBell 1-866-346-1168
  • PG&E Emergencies 1-888-743-4911
  • Register for real-time public safety alerts via Nixle at: https://local.nixle.com/city/ca/tracy/
  • If you must drive, be cautious and allow extra time for travel. California law requires that headlights must be turned on whenever windshield wipers are in use, even during daylight hours.
  • If you’re driving and see flooded roads ahead, turn around. About 80 percent of all flood-related deaths occur when drivers try to navigate flowing water.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and call 9-1-1.
  • Winterize your home and vehicle prior to storms (replacing windshield wipers, clearing rain gutters).
  • Portable space heaters should remain at least 3-feet away from combustibles, such as bedding and furniture.
To report a problem you may visit the City of Tracy’s website at www.thinkinsidethetriangle.com and click on the “Contact Us” link; download the “GoRequest” application on your smart phone; or contact the Departments listed above.
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