Floods are the most common natural hazard in the United States, and can occur in certain parts of Solano County. Large winter storms, floods, and landslides can cause significant property damage, loss of utilities, and loss of life. Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in low lying areas, near streams, lakes, sloughs, or other water bodies. Below is more detailed information on how to prepare before, during, and after a flood. Links are also provided below to Solano County’s Ready for the Flood Manual in both English and Spanish.
Fire & Floods
The risk of flooding can be increased by large-scale wildfires. Wildfires can leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb rainfall. In August-2020 the LNU Complex burnt over 363,220-acres of land in Solano, Sonoma, Colusa, Lake, Napa, and Yolo Counties making it the fourth largest wildfire in California history. For Solano County, the LNU Complex burnt significant areas of land in Pleasants Valley, Quail Canyon, Mix Canyon, Gates Canyon, Bucktown, English Hills, Lagoon Valley, and other local regions. As residents begin post-fire recovery, it will be important to also be flood prepared. Solano County residents living in or downstream of these fire impacted regions should be aware of the flood hazards, especially in steep-mountain areas like Mix and Gates Canyon, as well as fire impacted watersheds including Ulatis, Alamo, Encinosa, Sweeney, Pleasants Creek and others. As part of the post-fire recovery efforts, CalFire and the California Department of Conservation put together a Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) Evaluation of the LNU Lightning Complex – Hennessey Fire, which is provided below. A few additional links are provided below discussing the impact of wildfires on flooding.
Staying Safe | Before Flooding
You can reduce the potential impacts of flooding by doing the following before the rains and flooding begin:
- Know the type of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Sign up for Alert Solano, Solano County’s Regional Emergency Notification System.
- Monitor the weather for forecasted heavy rainfall.
- Monitor local Solano County rain and stream gages
- Develop a family Emergency Plan that includes evacuation routes, locations of utility shut-offs, and how family members will contact or reconnect with you if separated.
- Make a Disaster Supply Kit that includes enough food, water and medications that could last for at least 10-days. Keep in mind each family member’s specific needs, and don’t forget the needs of pets. For more information, visit CalOES Ready California.
- Purchase or renew a Flood Insurance Policy. It typically takes 30-days for a policy to go into effect. Standard homeowner policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Protect your property. Clean drains and gutters, secure outdoor furniture and other loose items, and stabilize slopes to prevent mud and landslides.
- If your property has a private creek or waterway, keep it maintained and free of debris that may cause flooding.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container and create password protected digital copies.
- Move valuables to higher levels. Consider relocating valuables from lower to upper floors.
- In flood prone areas, consider moving vehicles, animals, or others items to higher ground.
- Check in with neighbors to see if they need assistance with storm preparations.
Staying Safe | During the Flood
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
- Stay Informed. Listen to the radio, television, or local alerting system for current emergency information and instructions.
- Avoid Risky Areas. Stay away from streams, rivers, flood control channels and other areas subject to flooding. Do not “sightsee” or enter restricted areas.
- Drive Safely. Reduce speed, never drive around barricades, avoid downed power lines.
Additional Flood & Post-Fire Resource Links
- Solano County Post-Fire Recovery Website
- Solano County – Sand Bag Locations
- CalOES – My Hazards
- Floods | Ready.gov
- Colorado Post-Fire Playbook | Excellent website on post-fire recovery
Solano County Flood Studies
Ulatis Watershed Studies (Greater Vacaville Region)
Dixon Regional Watershed Studies
Fairfield-Cordelia Watershed Studies
Rio Vista Watershed Studies