Santa Maria is urging community members to prepare now for another large storm predicted to bring 2-4 inches of moderate intensity rain to the city Thursday into Saturday.

The weather system brings potential for localized road and urban flooding, as well as high flows in the Santa Maria River, the city reports.

Residents are encouraged to:

• Clean gutters and drains, and place sandbags on your property to prevent water from entering living spaces. For sandbags, local hardware stores have bags for sale.Community members also can fill sandbags for free at five stockpiles provided by the city (bring your own bags). Only fill sandbags about halfway so they can be stacked in a row, or a wall, to block water. Sandbagging technique video from California Department of Water Resources.
• Do not drive through road closures, or over manhole covers with water bubbling out.
• Do not drive near or over ponding water.
• Stay out of flood waters. Water may still be rising and can hide hazards.
• Rapidly flowing water can sweep you off your feet and your vehicle downstream.

All city sports fields will be closed starting Thursday afternoon, March 9 for safety and to limit damage. Fields may remain closed next week.

The public is asked to stay out of closed fields. Saturated fields are unsafe, and if they are used can become badly damaged with rehabilitation lasting several weeks.

The city also will post notices and lock the gates to the Santa Maria River Levee trail (the levee is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), until Monday.

Motorists can check local highway conditions by calling the Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs, 805-549-3318 or online at Road information is also posted at

Residents are also encouraged to follow the city’s social media pages, or check the city’s webpage for the latest information.

Those experiencing homelessness can contact the Warming Center Hotline, 805-324-2372.