El Niño Preparation

City of Seal Beach
General Information
(562) 431-2527 (8am to 5pm)
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(562) 562-4100 or 911


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Homeowner Tips

Preparing for El Niño
Heavy Rains Are Predicted For This Winter - What You Need To Know

The City of Seal Beach has been preparing for heavy rains predicted this winter for several months. Staff has been clearing storm drains, inspecting trees and infrastructure, and taking measure to reduce the risk of flooding. Emergency personnel are trained to response quickly to storm dangers.
The City is asking residents to prepare their private property for heavy rains. Below is a checklist for preparing your property.

General Checklist For Private Property

Yard Clean-up
Make a general inspection of your entire yard area for dead trees or dead limbs, yard debris, outdoor furniture, or other objects that could be blown by storm winds. An afternoon spent tidying up the yard and either storing furniture and other loose items indoors or securing them can prevent a frantic scramble to collect items that have landed on your roof or in your neighbors’ yards.

Drains and Gutters
Make sure all drains and gutters are cleared of debris and functioning properly before the storm season. If buildings do not have gutters and drains, consider having them installed. Storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces (e.g., roofs, driveways, and patios) should be directed into a collection system to avoid soil saturation.

Inspect your roof, or hire a roofing contractor, to check for loose tiles, holes, or other signs of trouble.

Retaining Walls
Visually inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction, before the storm season, and after every storm event.

Visually inspect all sloped areas for signs of gullying, surface cracks, slumping etc. Also inspect patios, retaining walls, garden walls, etc. for signs of cracking or rotation. Such signs might be indications of slope movement and if you notice any problems, it would be prudent to have the site inspected by a geotechnical engineer.

Bare Ground
Make sure your yard does not have large bare areas which could be sources for mudflows during a storm event. The fall is a good time to put down mulch and establish many native plants; it may be possible to vegetate these bare areas before the storm season.

Storm Drains
Visually inspect nearby storm drains, before the storm season and after every rain; if the storm drains are obstructed, clear the material from the drain or notify the Department of Public Works or public agency responsible for drain maintenance.

Follow-up and Other Concerns
If, after taking prudent steps to prepare your property for winter storms, you still have some concerns about slope stability, flooding, mudflows, etc., consider stockpiling sandbags and plastic sheeting. The sandbags can be stacked to form a barrier to keep water from flooding low areas. Plastic sheeting and visqueen can be placed on slopes and secured with sand bags to prevent water from eroding the soil.

El Niño Handout