Stormy weather: City Council told of SPFD emergency sandbag program

December 29, 2002
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesWith stormy days behind but stormier days forecast ahead, the city will again start supplying sandbags to the public in the case of water emergency.“We’re gearing up to keep flooding at a minimum,” by providing sandbags to the public, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the City Council at the Dec. 16th meeting.“Somehow, the fire department has gotten into the business of sandbags when the rain falls,” said Santa Paula Fire Chief Paul Skeels. And, a “somewhat limited supply of sandbags,” subject to replenishment is now available at Fire Station #1, located on North 10th Street.“If local residents have problems with flooding they can come down to the fire station and pick up sandbags. . .we also have sand in the back of the station in the hose tower,” area. “The public works department brought in some nice sand for emergency use, but I want to emphasize that we’re not in the position to give away hundreds and hundreds of sandbags to protect residences or businesses.”Councilman Ray Luna, a retired firefighter, asked Chief Skeels if the bags were being supplied as a preventative measure.
“Of course, if the sun is shining and it’s not raining I urge people to go to a vendor and pickup sandbags up there,” said Chief Skeels. “I think they’re about 40 to 50 cents each.”Rain for Rent and other area outlets supply sandbags and those who experience flooding problems should be proactive about stocking up with same, he added.Luna asked how many sandbags have been given out in years past, and Chief Skeels said a “few hundred at the most in any given season.”The city has not supplied sandbags to citizens during rain events for several years; in the past, sand and sandbags were available at the corner of Santa Barbara and Davis streets next to the railroad tracks.

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