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El Nino Alert - Be Ready

Residents Encouraged to Join City in Preparing

Post Date:11/16/2015 8:00 AM
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that a strong El Niño condition will continue through the upcoming winter.  Forecaster consensus is that this El Niño could rank among the top three such episodes, in terms of strength, since 1950.

El Niño is forecasted to affect temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States and bring increased rain and snow to Southern California, including the Coachella Valley.

The City of Palm Desert’s Public Works Department has already started preparing for potential flooding through a variety of projects including a City-wide cleaning of every storm drain catch basin in Palm Desert. Nearly one thousand structures have been cleaned in recent months. In addition, the City has been examining and clearing storm drain lines.

Maintenance crews have also replaced storm drain grates with grates that allow for improved flow at locations that have historically backed up.The drainage system can now better accommodate projected flows from a 100-year storm.

The City encourages residents and businesses to join us in being prepared. Following are some helpful tips:  

                      Clear gutters, drains, and downspouts now and after every rainfall to ensure proper flow.


                      Appropriately prune large trees on your property and remove green waste and other debris.


                     Check to make sure that there are no low areas next to your home where storm water might collect.


                      Stock a good supply of water, food, and medicine in case you lose power or cannot leave home.


                      Ensure that you have working flashlights and an adequate supply of charged batteries.


                      If you live in an HOA, ask if their storm drains and retention basins have been checked for proper collection and drainage.


                      Check your roof for loose tiles, holes, or signs of leaks.


•               Flood damage is not covered by regular homeowners insurance and California’s Insurance Commissioner advises residents living in areas at risk for flooding to immediately purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (


                      If your property is prone to flooding, have sandbags ready.  They are available for purchase at home improvement and hardware stores. The City will make sandbags available only if severe storms cause local flooding. If imminent flooding is forecast, sandbags will be distributed to Palm Desert residents, with proof of residency, at the  City's Corporation Yard located at 74705 42nd Avenue. Palm Desert residents can also get up to 25 sandbags and sand to fill them at any Palm Desert fire station.


Detailed information about El Niño is available at a variety of sites including and

The Red Cross provides helpful emergency preparedness and safety tips at its website:

Additional information is available at

In an effort to minimize property damage and protect the community we call home, the City of Palm Desert is doing everything it can to be prepared for possible flooding this winter as a result of El Niño. We hope you will join us.


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