Santa Maria must keep close watch when it rains steadily and heavily for an extended period of time because much of the city sits on a flood plain.
“The city is on top of it”, says City of Santa Maria spokesperson Mark van de Kamp, “we’ve already gone out and checked our storm drains, we have about 2,400 of those, we’ve cleared debris.”
Over the years as the city has grown, Santa Maria has built retention basins to capture storm water runoff including a massive basin at Jim May Park on the northeast side of the city which looks more like a lake.
But even the retention basins can overflow if there’s enough rainfall and the excess water can lead to flooding.
The next set of storms to hit the Central Coast and Santa Maria poses other challenges while it also delivers much needed drought relief.
“This time around we’re concerned about trees that have been weakened by the drought and previous storms”, van de Kamp says, “if we get some winds we could see more downed branches, more downed trees, which could be a real problem.”
Apart from isolated street flooding including Black Road on the western edge of the city, Santa Maria is holding up well amid considerable rainfall.