January 3, 2023
  • Redwood City The recent heavy rains with the promise of more on the way prompted the County of San Mateo today to declare a local state of emergency. 

    The County also activated its Emergency Operations Center to serve as the around-the-clock nerve center that coordinates resources and communication with local, regional and state agencies and response partners.   

    Public Works crews on the job
    Department of Public Works crews cleaning up a slide.

    “These storms have already displaced some residents and caused damage. It is important we have a coordinated response to prioritize public safety, especially for those who reside in areas more prone to flooding,” said Mike Callagy, the County executive. 

    Callagy, who also serves as the County’s Director of Emergency Services, signed the disaster proclamation and the Board of Supervisors ratified it this morning. 

    The atmospheric river throughout New Year’s Eve weekend brought unprecedent rainfall levels, including approximately 5.8 inches in the 24-hour period beginning early on New Year’s Eve Day.

    Impacts so far include:

    • Major roads and highways closed and several underpasses flooded, including Holly Street in San Carlos and Harbor Boulevard in Belmont;
    • Sewer treatment plans at risk of failure;
    • The flooding of Pescadero Creek Road forced the the move fire engines to the local high school campus;
    • Evacuations required at a trailer home community in Belmont and at the Moonridge farmworker housing community; about 100 residents are temporarily sheltered in hotels.
    • The closure of several County parks and trails.

    In response and looking forward, this morning, the Board of Supervisors also ratified a local State of Emergency Declaration, following on the heels of the statewide declaration. The local declaration makes the County eligible for reimbursement for costs incurred in its emergency response to the current storms.           

    The National Weather Service predicts the county will receive another 3.4 inches of rain beginning mid-dayWednesday. The storms could continue through the upcoming weekend.

    How the County is Responding

    • Secured local hotel rooms for residents displaced by flooding.
    • Secured space for additional shelters on the coast if necessary.
    • Preparing an area for mass evacuation should that be necessary.
    • Ordered 24,000 sandbags for countywide distribution.
    • Department of Public Works crews working around the clock to clear roads and debris.

    How You Can Stay Safe

    Report flooding to your local city. In the unincorporated area, call the DPW main line at (650) 363-4100. Note: flooding on private property should be handled by the property owners.

    Media Contact

    Michelle Durand
    Chief Communications Officer