Merced County Times Newspaper
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Merced bracing for upcoming storm

The City of Merced is working to clear storm drains, fortify creek banks, and prepare for what is expected to be another major series of storms beginning Friday, March 9, and lasting over a week, according to forecasts.

In preparation, city officials have reactivated the Storm Information Webpage, online at, to provide information and updates about local impacts, including flood caution and preparedness information, evacuation warnings, and orders, if necessary. In addition, sandbag supply updates and other storm-related information will also be posted on this site.

January storms have made areas of Merced’s waterways unsafe. Local public safety officials urge all residents to avoid these waterways and walking paths. The water will be dangerously cold due to snow melt and runoff. Because of ground saturation and erosion from prior storms, expect to see more debris in creek flows. Additionally, take precautions for fallen branches or trees and potential power outages.

The National Weather Service 7-Day Forecast predicts 2 to 3 inches of rain. Bear Creek will reach monitor stage on Friday morning. To monitor creek flows, please visit the California Nevada River Forecast Center online at:

Localized flooding can be expected on city streets and will result in increased pothole activity. The Public Works Department continues to address issues as they arise.

Do not drive on flooded streets.

Obey all traffic, detour, and roadblock signs.


Sandbags are available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The City of Merced Purchasing Building, 2525 O Street. Please enter from O and 25th Streets. Availability will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sand is at separate locations. For directions to the Purchasing Building and a list of sand locations, visit the City’s Storm Information Webpage. Expect to fill and transport your sandbags. Please bring a shovel to the sand location. Filled sandbags are heavy. Please be prepared to lift more than 50 pounds.


To prepare for possible evacuation

  • Prepare a family plan and have emergency telephone numbers available.
  • Assemble a disaster supply kit with enough food, water, and other supplies for at least 72 hours. For a complete list, visit,
  • Prepare to relocate to a safe location and share your location with family and friends.
  • Move vehicles off roadways to allow emergency vehicles access and to prevent flood damage.

If you evacuate:

  •  Gather all family members.
  • Gather all pets.
  • Gather essential items including important documents (insurance policies, identification cards, bank account records, birth certificates, passports).
  • Be sure to bring essential medications with you.
  • Unplug all appliances.
  • Move portable appliances and electronics to higher ground.
  • Turn off lights in your home.
  • Lock your home.
  • Move all vehicles off roadways to allow emergency vehicles access and to prevent flood damage.


Stay informed:

  • Sign up for Subscribe Merced at:
  • Use the National Weather Service website for up-to-date information.


Additional Resources:

  • For emergencies, dial 911
  • For general information, please call: 211
  • For after-hours urgent Public Works matters, please contact police dispatch at (209) 385-6905.
  • Merced County Office of Emergency Services 24-hour Information Line (recording): (209) 385-7379

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