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Floods & Storms

Published on: 9/22/2015 11:56 AM

​Santa Clara Valley has always been subject to periodic flooding due to its more than 700 miles of creeks and rivers. Most often, these episodes are the result of storms.  Locally, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) has the key responsibility of flood protection and offers the following important flood protection tips:

  • Know the name and location of the creek, river or channel nearest your home, and your home’s elevation relative to it.
  • Determine your risk for flooding. Contact your city or the water district to determine if your property is at risk. Ask about the history of flooding and the projected flood elevation in your neighborhood.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area:
    • Gather emergency building materials including plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber nails, drywall screws, hammer and saw, pry bar, shovels.
    • Find out where you can get sandbags in your community.
    • Examine your property for flood risks, and make any needed repairs. Seal any cracks in the foundation and exterior walls, use special paints to prevent water from penetrating exterior brick or stucco, and seal small openings around pipes with cement, crack filler or caulk.
    • Consider elevating your main electric panel board (electric fuses or circuit breakers) and all electrical outlets, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters and wiring, at least one foot above the projected flood elevation for your home.
    • Protect some appliances by elevating them at least one foot above the projected flood elevation. Use masonry or pressure-treated lumber to elevate your washer and dryer. Use masonry blocks or concrete to elevate your furnace and water heater. Outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps or package units can be placed on a base of masonry, concrete or pressure-treated lumber.
    • Prepare your home by purchasing flood insurance for your home and its contents. Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies often do not cover damage from flooding. Flood insurance may be your only way to recover fully from flood damages.
    • Stay indoors during the storm.
    • Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if you must...
      • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk (see Related Link below entitled "Disaster Supplies Kit").
      • Keep your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
      • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
Helpful Numbers
Santa Clara Valley Water District .................(408) 265-2600
FloodSAFE Hotline..........1-888-HEY-NOAH (1-888-439-6624)
Federal Emergency Management Agency.....1-800-480-2520
American Red Cross-Santa Clara Valley........(408) 577-1000
National Flood Insurance Program...........1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 100