Around the valley, preparations are underway, cities are offering free sandbags, and sharing important safety messages, to help keep residents safe during this historic storm.
The Valentines Day flooding from 2019 is still top of mind for many locals, and this time around, they’re preparing early for this potentially record breaking weekend.
“We are expected to get some flooding, like three to five inches of rain this weekend, so the sandbags can actually be used to block entrances of your home, you can put them if you have any like areas of your home that are delicate to rain, you can use them to kind of like protect the area.” Jose Ramirez, the Management Analyst for the City of Indio says.
Fire stations throughout Riverside County, providing bags, leaving residents with one job, filling these bags with sand.
“I’m glad to see residents out here. This is what they’re supposed to be doing is preparing their homes, helps firefighters out tremendously.” says Richard Cordova, the Public Information Officer for CalFire.
“So I’m from New England, so the idea of giving sandbags for a rainstorm is unusual, but we have a condominium with patios where water is going to infiltrate the house, so we’re getting sandbags to protect the water coming from our living room.” says Tim Martin, one Indio resident says.
Each person is limited to so many bags, residents like Martin say, they have other plans.
“Of course, there’s plenty of sand in the desert. So if they only limit you to five bags here, I may sneak out and get some more.” Martin says.
Officials reminding residents to stay prepared.
“Prepare yourselves. We don’t know what this rainstorm is going to do. We’re expecting over five plus inches of rain. Hopefully it misses us but now’s the time to prepare. Don’t wait at the last minute. Do what these residents are doing behind us and come down to your local fire stations. Get some sand, get some sandbags.” Cordova says.
Now the Coachella Valley Unified School District is preparing early as well, designating Desert Mirage High School as a temporary shelter, opening as early as Sunday.