Sausal Creek was vigorous after January rains. Another storm forecasted for this week could bring flooding. Credit: Daniel Danzig

The extremely wet winter weather is not over, with a forecasted storm bringing Oakland up to two inches of rain this week, and yet more rainfall expected the next.

The initial downpour affecting the entire Bay Area will be heaviest Thursday afternoon through Friday, but the National Weather Service has issued a “flood watch” through Sunday morning. A wind advisory is also in place for Thursday and Friday.

“Creeks and streams will see rapid rises,” the NWS warned. “Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.”

The city of Oakland’s Public Works Department is sending crews out to clear storm infrastructure and has asked the public to volunteer for the “Adopt a Drain” program, where residents sign up to remove trash and leaves from gutters and grates.

Residents and businesses can also pick up free sandbags from the city, at 7101 Edgewater Dr., open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and until 4:30 p.m. on the weekend.

Infrastructure emergencies related to the storm—such as fallen trees or flooded streets—should be reported to the OAK311 phone line (dial 311 or 510-615-5566), or online for less urgent matters. The cyberattack that’s taken out systems across Oakland this year, and more recently resulted in a massive release of sensitive data, initially disabled 311, but the city said it’s back up and running.

Storms put Oakland’s 3,300 residents living with no shelter at even greater risk of illness and death. There are two emergency shelters in Oakland offering beds on a first-come, first-served basis, St. Vincent de Paul in West Oakland (510-638-7600) and Crossroads in East Oakland (510-532-3211). (See the full list of winter shelters in Alameda County.) 

A city spokesperson said there are currently over 60 beds available at Oakland shelters, and staff will monitor conditions to see whether more emergency sites need to be opened.

On the plus side, the unusual amount of rain this year has helped refill East Bay reservoirs decimated by years of drought. EBMUD customers will see this reflected on their water bills, where a surcharge will no longer be necessary.

After this weekend’s atmospheric river, another storm is forecasted for the region next Monday or Tuesday. But all the rainfall won’t bring the frigid temperatures the East Bay experienced last month, Berkeleyside reported

Sadly, that means no more wonky Oakland snowmen or pets frolicking in the blanketed hills.

This story was updated after publication.

Natalie Orenstein covers housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. She was previously on staff at Berkeleyside, where her extensive reporting on the legacy of school desegregation received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists NorCal and the Education Writers Association. Natalie’s reporting has also appeared in The J Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere, and she’s written about public policy for a number of research institutes and think tanks. Natalie lives in Oakland, grew up in Berkeley, and has only left her beloved East Bay once, to attend Pomona College.