Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, PIO, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008

BERKELEY SEES FLOODING AND FALLING TREES IN YEAR’S FIRST STORM
More than 90 calls come in about downed trees and branches

<#text>Berkeley, California (Friday, January 04, 2008) -

“City staff from many different departments, including Public Works, Parks Recreation and Waterfront, Police, Fire and Housing, are working together to help mitigate the impacts of the storm,” said Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna. “We’re also working with outside agencies such as PG&E, as sporadic outages are reported throughout the City.”

Major flooding was seen near the Gilman exit from I-80 in the morning, and in several areas near the railroad tracks between Addison and Ashby as of Friday afternoon.

“Flooding issues have been resolved at all locations using portable pumps and the Fire Department's HydroSub,” said Acting Fire Chief Gil Dong

If you see:

  • Flooding or storm drain back ups, call (510) 981-6620; 

  • Fallen trees or branches, stay clear and call 981-6660; 

  • A downed power line, stay away and call 911. 

Flood warnings from the Red Cross include:

  • Do not try to walk, swim or drive in flood water;

  • Stay away from underpasses, which can fill rapidly with water;

  •  If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Sandbags: Sandbags can be procured at all Berkeley fire stations and at the Corporation Yard at 1326 Allston Way. The Corp Yard will be open until midnight tonight and at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Trees: The Forestry Division received more than 90 calls about downed branches and trees, mostly on private property. Although there was some minor damage, no injuries were reported.

Shelter: Most shelters in the East Bay have expanded their capacity for the weekend to ensure everyone has a safe and warm place to sleep.

  • Berkeley’s Emergency Storm Shelter, which provides overnight shelter beds at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 2300 Bancroft Way, is open and has the capacity for 50 people;

  • The Berkeley Food and Housing Project will have an additional 20 beds, for a total of 100;

  • The winter shelter at the former Oakland Army Base is open;

  • If evacuation of residential neighborhoods becomes necessary, the City is in touch with the Red Cross to secure housing vouchers or to open a shelter at the South Berkeley Senior Center.

“Crews have been working 12-hour shifts to keep homes, businesses and neighborhoods from flooding, and we’re going to keep doing that,” said Public Works Director Claudette Ford. “But it also helps to have neighbors stepping up to clean storm drains, identify back ups, and alert us to hazards.”

Residents are invited to sign up for the Adopt-A-Drain program, which provides important training for keeping the storm drain system clean. Visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/PW/Storm/adopt.html or call 981-6300 for more information.

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