Yesterday, January 11, 2023, City Administrator Ed Reiskin issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency, which will be submitted to the City Council for its consideration to ratify at its January 17, 2023 meeting.
Adopt a Drain
Hundreds of volunteers across Oakland have adopted storm drains to help their neighborhoods prepare for rainstorms. It doesn't take much to keep a storm drain clear. A little volunteer effort goes a long way in helping Public Works maintain over 13,000 storm drains to reduce flooding and prevent pollution of our waterways. When you sign up to Adopt a Drain, you become eligible to borrow City tools and supplies, and you will receive the City's rain alert notifications.
Preparedness Tips for Residents and Businesses
Simple preparation steps taken now can lessen the impact of weather-related and other emergencies. Members of the public should review their emergency plans and prepare their families, homes, and vehicles. Here are some suggested steps:
- Clear your gutters and downspouts; ensure downspouts are working and pointing away from your house
- Keep your curbs and sidewalk gutters clear of leaves and debris (and please dispose of in your green bins – not sweep them into the gutter)
- Check the storm drain near your house and use a rake to keep it clear of debris (see the City of Oakland’s Adopt-a-Drain program.)
- Check that backflow prevention devices on sewer laterals/cleanouts are functioning properly – or consult a plumber to have one installed.
- Trim trees on your property to help them handle wind and rain; call a certified arborist to inspect your trees if you observe unusual leaning or dead branches
- Check out your local hardware store for flood prevention tools and techniques such as using sandbags to divert water away from your property or prevent it from coming in through doors and basement windows
- Check in with friends, family and neighbors who may need assistance during extreme weather
- Pack a “go bag” to evacuate quickly
- Have insurance policies handy (tip: take photos of each room in your home beforehand).
- Review emergency procedures and evacuation plans at your children’s schools
- Make sure you have emergency supplies to last for at least three days, including enough water, food, medicine and other supplies for family members and pets
Free Sandbag Distribution
Oakland Public Works has given out more than 35,000 free sandbags to community members, with CERT volunteers working alongside City staff to fill and distribute bags. The Municipal Service Center at 7101 Edgewater Drive has plenty of inventory ready to support Oaklanders and will be operating from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm this week and throughout the holiday weekend.
Shelter Remains Available
The City’s year-round shelter at St. Vincent de Paul, located at 675 23rd Street in West Oakland, continues to have beds available for people through the weekend. The City has also arranged for St. Vincent de Paul to be staffed up from 3-6pm, when the shelter is normally closed. Shelter beds can be secured through referral, reservation, and walk-up on a first come-first served basis. People seeking shelter should contact St. Vincent de Paul directly at (510) 638-7600.
There are additional spaces available at community cabins and other shelters throughout Oakland. For information on accessing other shelters, transitional housing and all other emergency housing in Alameda County, please call 211 (Eden Information and Referral).
MACRO continues to engage with unhoused Oakland residents to inform them of shelter options and coordinate transportation for those who need it. MACRO is also distributing blankets, water, socks and donated knitted hats and scarves. Community members who wish to advise MACRO of locations where outreach to the unhoused could be helpful can alert the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, Community Homelessness Services Case Managers & Operation Dignity are in the field daily and continue to encourage people to accept emergency shelter. Case Managers are distributing health & hygiene products and Operation Dignity is distributing extra ponchos, blankets, and sleeping bags provided by the County.
311 Service Requests
Since the beginning of the storms on New Year’s eve there have been 1,073 storm related service requests initiated through OAK311. The largest categories of requests were for clogged storm drains (about 532 requests) and downed trees and tree limbs (more than 287 requests). The remaining requests were related to City building maintenance, damaged traffic signals or utility poles, creek flooding, blocked sewers, mudslides or landslides, and damaged sidewalks. 329 of these service requests have been closed, and 744 remain open.
A dynamic map of storm related service requests is located here.
Road Closures Information
Road closures are posted on the City’s website. Thanks to the efficient work of OPW tree crews, all tree-related road closures have been cleared. Only one road remains closed:
- Oakland Zoo Entry Road from Golf Links Rd to the Zoo Entrance Station
Community members can also help by providing the City important information about these impacts in their neighborhood by reporting tree and road issues to OAK311.