Big Fresno Storm: Where to Get Sandbags, Report Problems, and How to Stay Safe - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
Connect with us


Big Fresno Storm: Where to Get Sandbags, Report Problems, and How to Stay Safe



Fresno and Clovis officials, along with PG&E, say they're prepared to for the storm expected Sunday. (Shutterstock)
Share with friends

How do you prepare for a rainstorm like the one poised to drench Fresno on Sunday and Monday?

Experts advise cleaning your roof gutters and downspouts so that clogged water doesn’t create leaks in your roof or damage the home’s exterior.

Brent Sunamoto, assistant general manager of the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, takes it a step further. He asks that residents make sure their street gutters are free of leaves, branches, needles, and other debris that could cause streets to flood.

Even though 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected in the Fresno area from the storm starting Sunday, Sunamoto says the district should be able to handle the downpour.

“Due to the recent drought, water levels in our basins are generally very low.  These basins have plenty of capacity to accommodate the upcoming forecasted storms,” Sunamoto told GV Wire on Friday.  “This area can use the rain and we look forward to capturing the water.”

Residents concerned about water encroaching their homes can pick up sandbags at locations throughout Fresno, Clovis, and the county.

“Our Public Works and Planning (Department) has stationed extra resources in critical areas in the event that they are needed,” said Fresno County spokeswoman Sonja Dosti. “Sandbags are available 24/7 at some of the county yards. This includes the yards in northern Clovis, and the yards in Auberry and Shaver.

“These resources are for residents living in the unincorporated areas of the county.  …  As the storm gets closer, the county will continue to monitor and take any necessary actions if there are threats identified to any of our residents.”

Sandbag Locations

— Clovis residents, Clovis Corporation Yard, 155 N. Sunnyside Ave.

— County residents, 41686 Dinkey Creek Road, Shaver Lake

— County residents, 33148 Auberry Road, Auberry

— County residents, 9400 Matus Ave, Fresno

How to Report Flooding, Fallen Trees

City of Fresno residents are asked to use the FresGo app to report storm-related issues. Clovis residents can call the city’s Public Utilities Department, (559) 324-2600 or use the GoClovis app to report problems.

PG&E Says It Is Prepared for Storm

On Thursday, PG&E said that it had activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate its response to the storm throughout the utility’s service area.

And, company spokesman Denny Boyles said in an email that PG&E’s geosciences team will keep a close eye on potential post-wildfire debris flows.

“PG&E has been preparing for this storm,” Boyles said. “PG&E has a plan, and we will execute that plan. This includes the use of storm outage prediction models that help us determine the potential timing, location, and number of power outages.

“PG&E is utilizing the latest technology to help us restore power more quickly and efficiently after a storm. This includes the installation of automated equipment that “self-heals” the grid as well as timely and accurate outage data from our SmartMeter network.”

Boyles added that the company has more than 350 crews on alert and ready to quickly respond to outages.

PG&E customers can get updates on outages at 1-800-743-5002 and

Experts recommend cleaning roof gutters ahead of heavy rains. (Shutterstock)

Rainstorm Tips

— Clean gutters and downspouts, and make sure downspouts divert water away from your house.

— Trim trees and branches. Because of the drought, they’ll absorb water quickly, making them susceptible to breaking or uprooting.

— Cover and protect outdoor furniture, barbecues, outdoor equipment.

— Use sandbags or concrete edgings to divert water to drainage areas.

— Assemble an emergency kit and put it where you can find it. Include a list of emergency phone numbers.

— Keep flashlights with fresh batteries handy. Don’t use candles.

— Keep cash on hand and fill up vehicle gas tanks. ATMs and gas stations may close during a power outage.

— Check on your neighbors.

— If you have a backup generator, test it before the storm.

— Never touch a downed wire.

— During an outage, unplug or turn off all appliances.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email