El Niño Returns; And We’ve Got Your Sandbags!
It’s been a while, but El Niño rains are finally headed back to San Diego County this week. Which means this could once again be a good time to pick up some free sand and bags to help you protect your property.
And now, county residents can get sandbags at more locations than ever before. The County of San Diego, CAL FIRE and local cities are now offering sand and bags, or bags alone at scores of locations, including a recent addition of thousands of bags at the Lakeside River Park Conservancy at 12108 Industry Road in Lakeside. The City of San Diego has also moved its sandbag distribution from the fire stations to selected recreation centers.
A complete list of all of the places to find sand and bags can be found the County’s El Niño Web page and look for the links for locations in the unincorporated county areas and the Cities/incorporated areas. This same information is also available in Spanish for theunincorporated areas and the Cities/incorporated areas.
Different locations are offering sand and bags, just bags, or are asking people to bring shovels to put sand into bags themselves — so you might want to call your location ahead of time.
As in our last El Niño rains in January, future rains also mean increased risks of flooding and soil erosion — especially in places that are not covered by lawns, trees, shrubs and plants.
Water runoff, mud and debris can be swept downstream by rains can damage homes, clog storm drains and culverts and flood and damage roadways. If people have slopes on their properties, they can use mulch or terrace the slopes and plant groundcovers and shrubs to keep them from eroding.
The County of San Diego has put together numerous recommendations for how people can prepare, including: looking around their properties to see if they are in flood-prone areas or near a hillsides with little or dead vegetation that could allow erosion; checking the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s resources at ReadySanDiego.org. People can also check our “How to Be El Niño Ready”story on the County News Center and our video tips for how to use sandbags, “You’ve Got Your Sanbags; Now What?” We also have information about making sure your rain barrel doesn’t turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
For more information, check the County Department of Public Works’ Storm and Road Events update Web page; the County Office of Emergency Services Flooding Preparedness Facts and Resource Web page; and ReadySanDiego.org.