Flooding along Pacheco Creek broke fences along Lovers Lane in 2017. File photo by Julie Morris.
Flooding along Pacheco Creek broke fences along Lovers Lane in 2017. File photo by Julie Morris.

A flash flood watch has been issued across the Central Coast and San Francisco Bay Area as an upcoming storm moves into the region.

According to the National Weather Service, an atmospheric river originating near Hawaii is expected to hit the Bay Area and Central Coast the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 12 through the morning of Thursday, Feb.14. The flash flood advisory states rainfall rates of at least half an inch per hour could be possible during the heaviest showers, with the highest rates in the higher terrain.

The flash flood watch is in effect for the following regions:

San Francisco, Coastal North Bay including Point Reyes National Seashore, North Bay Interior Valleys, North Bay Mountains, San Francisco Bay Shoreline, San Francisco Peninsula Coast, East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara Valley including San Jose, Southern Salinas Valley/Arroyo Seco and Lake San Antonio, Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest, Northern Salinas Valley/Hollister Valley and Carmel Valley, Northern Monterey Bay, Southern Monterey Bay and Big Sur Coast.

Rain is expected Feb. 12 after 10 p.m. with a 90 percent chance of precipitation, according to the weather service. The rain will continue through Feb. 14 and appears to lighten up with slight chances of showers lingering by the weekend.

A wind advisory is also in effect from 10 p.m. Feb. 12 to 10 a.m. Feb. 14 for the following areas:

North Bay Interior Valleys, East Bay Interior Valleys, Santa Clara Valley including San Jose, Southern Salinas Valley/Arroyo Seco and Lake San Antonio, Northern Salinas Valley/Hollister Valley and Carmel Valley.

Southeast winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour (mph) with gusts of 45 mph are possible. The advisory notes that strong winds can blow down limbs, trees and power lines.

The San Benito County Office of Emergency Services (OES) said sandbags are available at the following locations:

  • San Benito County Public Works Yard at 3220 Southside Road
  • Hollister Public Works Yard at 1321 South Street
  • Hollister Fire Department Station #2 at 1000 Union Road
  • Hollister Municipal Airport at 60 Airport Drive

OES advises residents to register their cell phones with CodeRed to be able to receive emergency notifications from public safety departments (https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/218A80E36F49)

Residents in North County areas of Lovers Lane, San Felipe Road, Shore Road, and surrounding areas impacted by the 2017 floods should take additional precautions and prepare for potential flooding, OES said. At the current time, projections for Pacheco Creek are near, but below flood stage and may cause major impacts to the region. These projections are subject to change as forecast reliability improves. Officials will continue to monitor the situation as the storm progresses and act accordingly. If you ever feel the need to evacuate, do not wait for the official notice, OES advised.

For local updates, check the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page.