San Bernardino County emerged from this week’s historic rainstorms spared from the destruction endured by many other California communities, prompting county leaders to praise county departments and staff for the preparedness, coordination and public communication efforts undertaken before and during this potential disaster.

“We would like to thank all of the county team for the great response to the storms that are coming through,” Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “There are a lot of people in this room who I know did not sleep on Sunday and worked through the night and into Monday. We appreciate the support you have given to us and our residents.”

County Fire conducted several successful swift-water rescues as water levels rose in creeks and flood control channels. County Public Works and many of the county’s cities closed several roads that were overcome with storm flows. However, the county has not experienced the mudslides that have affected other Southern California communities.

Local rainfall totals for the 72-hour period ending Tuesday morning illustrated the storms’ intensity:

  • 12.48”, Middle Fork Lytle Creek
  • 11.77”, Day Canyon (Rancho Cucamonga)
  • 11.28”, Lytle Creek
  • 6.5”-9”, Mountain communities
  • 5” – 8”, throughout the valley
  • 1.5” – 2”, high desert

The board on Tuesday unanimously ratified a state of emergency proclamation signed by county CEO Luther Snoke in his capacity as the county’s Director of Emergency Services on Sunday before the rain began.

“This declaration puts the state and federal government on notice that our residents will need their help,” Rowe said on Sunday. “The county is taking all available steps to keep our residents safe, and we are making preparations to meet their needs during and after the storms. I urge everyone to take necessary precautions, avoid unnecessary travel, and visit for vital safety information.”

The county’s Emergency Operations Center began conducting coordination meetings with first-responder agencies on Jan. 30 and officially activated early Sunday night to monitor the storms and serve as a hub for incoming real-time information on incidents and response.

County Public Works, County Fire and the Sheriff’s Department began activating and pre-positioning crews, equipment and other resources including sand and sandbags during the week prior to the storms to protect communities and vulnerable populations and to ensure the quickest possible response.

The county disseminated more than 100 social media posts warning the public in English and Spanish about the storms and advising them to prepare, take precautions, and visit for additional information. A website specific to the incident was created. The county’s Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) was employed to send emergency alerts to all residents within the most vulnerable areas.

County first responders remain on alert – and residents should, too – as rain and lowering snow levels are expected to continue through Friday.

Please be aware that county Public Works snowplow crews are working overtime to service all of the more than 500 miles of county-maintained roads in the mountain communities. The county asks for your patience as crews work diligently to clear the snow and make the roads safe for travel. Safety is a top priority and crews are committed to reaching all neighborhoods as quickly as possible.

Additional County Update News – February 8, 2024

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