Wednesday December 10, 2014 2:30pm...
The winter storm headed for Napa and the North Bay is expected to bring heavy rain at time and high winds, with forecasters saying winds could gust up to 50mph at lower elevations and up to 80mph at higher elevations. Rainfall is expected to be heaviest between 4:00 a.m.and 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning. The potential for fallen trees and resulting power line damage is significant with this storm. Residents should consider risks in their location and prepare accordingly with these tips from the City of Napa, PG&E and the CHP:
- Move vehicles that may be in danger of tree falls or street flooding
- Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Report downed trees, clogged storm drains and other storm-related problems in the City by calling the Departmental Emergency Operations Center at 707-257-9544 (This number wil be in operation from 10pm Wed Dec 10 until further notice.)
- Make sure flashlights and batteries are available, along with a battery-powered radio.
- Make sure cell phones are fully charged.
- Candles pose a fire risk, and you should avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling.
- If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
Before calling PG&E about a power outage:
Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This will confirm if an outage is impacting the neighborhood or just your residence.
If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.
If your outage is not limited to the home electric system, report your outage to PG&E's Electric Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002.
On the roads, please keep in mind:
- Freeways will often flood nearest to the roadway edges, especially on elevated roadways with walls on both sides. Avoid the outside lanes, especially at night.
- Never drive through standing water. You never know how deep the water is, and what may be lurking beneath the surface.
- The primary method of avoiding collisions during severe weather is to slow down. Slower speeds prevent hydroplaning, which often leads to crashes. Extra following distance will also help if someone crashes ahead.
- Whenever your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be as well. Often, vehicles are not visible without head and taillights.
- Prepare your vehicle now. Replace windshield wipers if necessary, check your brakes and your fluids. The worst time to break down is during heavy weather. Towing services are usually overwhelmed with collisions, and response times are delayed.
- If you experience an emergency on the freeway, call 9-1-1 from your mobile phone. Please be aware that CHP response times are often delayed due to the high volume of calls. If you experience a minor collision, please move out of the roadway as soon as possible to prevent secondary collisions and to keep our Bay Area roadways moving.
If you live in an unincorporated part of Napa County, see this page for contacts and resources: