NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – People in Nevada county are bracing for potential flooding in areas hit hard by wildfires. From fire season to rain, the county continues to be in mother nature’s crosshairs.
“The erosion is probably going to be pretty bad,” speculated homeowner, Kevin Fatemi “The main thing is the erosion it eats away at the foundation of homes and the hillside and sometimes it falls down on the road,” he said.READ MORE: Saturday's Show Info (5/21/22)
Heavy rain expected this weekend is prompting people to prepare especially in the area where the River Fire destroyed 2,600 acres and dozens of homes and buildings.
“I want to make sure my heating resources are ready to go like firewood up in the foothills here,” said homeowner Richard Bright.
“We did check our drains and make sure our property is set properly,” said homeowner, Stephanie Owyoung. “It’s definitely a book-and-hot chocolate type of weekend for our family,” she said.
Several sandbag locations are set up throughout the area to help homeowners protect their property as the county’s office of emergency services warns of potential flash flooding and dangerous debris flow.
“This is just like a wildfire; we have to get people out of the way. They need to evacuate, that is our message to the public you have to treat this like a red flag thing, right? You have to have your bag packed,” said Paul Cummings, Program Director of Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services.
Crews from the Department of Water Services and the California Conservation Corps are working to clear debris around the Bear River to avoid toxins and debris from polluting the waterways, according to Cummings.READ MORE: Friday's Show Info (5/20/22)
The expected storm is landing on an already burned area and could bring a potential for greater risks.
“The soil is not as stable as it was so that means cars, trees, rocks — it all becomes part of that flood. You get a slurry, like a milkshake, and just move down through and take out communities,” he said.
OES is working with the sheriff’s office and the National Weather Service as they monitor the storm. Staff is on standby to respond to the potential need for evacuations within the county. If evacuations are ordered, residents would receive alerts through email, phone, and TV.
Cummings said the county is not worried about the volume of rain but the during of the heavy rain brought by the storm.
“The debris flow is actually more dangerous than the flash flood and these two events are coming together,” said Cummins.
Residents say they will be ready to go if necessary.
“I travel light, so if they say evacuations, I’ll just get the hell out of dodge,” said Fatemi.MORE NEWS: Thursday's Show Info (5/18/22)
We’re told by the experts that it’s not the volume of the rain but the duration of how long that heavy rain stays in the area they are concerned about. The county is working with the sheriff’s office and the National Weather Service to keep an eye on how things progress.