tips for floods; Stockton sandbag locations

Note to readers: We’ve made this story free as an important public service to residents in San Joaquin County. If you are able, help local journalism thrive by subscribing to The Stockton Record. Your subscription goes a long way toward helping us provide meaningful, in-depth coverage on issues that matter to you.

As the city of Stockton prepares for heavy rain and high winds coming through early Wednesday and Thursday, the city has taken precautions such as closing all city parks and providing free self-fill sandbag locations for floods.

“Due to the significant amount of rain and high winds expected, the entire region is being monitored. Areas that have flooded in the past should be aware,” city spokesperson Connie Cochran said via email on Tuesday.

If you have not already prepared for the coming heavy rain and winds, here are a few things you can do now in case of an emergency.

Make sure you pack those important documents you may need for travel, medications, a first aid kit, and that cat food you know your cat won’t be happy you left behind.

Don Rieux on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023 cracks down the trailer jack to his RV trailer after having to evacuate from the RV park at New Hope Landing due to rising waters of the Mokelumne River near Walnut Grove.  The quickly rising storm-fed waters of the river forced more than 50 park residents to evacuate over the weekend to nearby Thornton.  A handful of unoccupied trailers were unable to be moved.

What should I do now to prepare for a flood?

The storm will be here in a few hours with lots of rain, high winds, floods and even the possibility of power outages. The city of Stockton has a few tips on how to prepare for this storm.

“Community members should run errands for food, medications, batteries, and other storm-related supplies today. If you are still without power, you can charge your cell phone and keep warm at any of our Community Centers that are listed as Warming Zones,” Cochran said. “Community members are also welcomed at local libraries to stay warm and charge cell phones, during regular library hours.”

What to do ahead of time:

  • Pack important documents (insurance policies and vital records) to take with you.
  • Have an emergency supply kit (food, water, medication, first aid kit, a radio).
  • Plan for pets (food and litter).
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank.
  • Identify safe routes to higher ground.
  • If ordered to, evacuate immediately. Move to the roof when stranded for rescue.
  • Keep materials in hand for waterproofing (sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting).
  • Create an out-of-state “family contacts” list others can use for information on where you are.
  • Avoid flooded roads and waterways. Immediately abandon the car if it stalls in water and seek higher ground.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, when preparing for a flood there are three basic steps that should be followed: be aware, be prepared and take action.

  • Be aware means knowing if you live in a flood zone. Stockton Residents can check by visiting and clicking the external link at the bottom of the page:
  • Be prepared means having all the necessary supplies needed in case of an emergency evacuation, those may include important documents, a self-aid kit, medication, pets and finding out where to go if necessary to leave your home.
  • take action means to act immediately, that in case of an evacuation order and to purchase flood insurance if needed.

Travel safety tips:

The city of Stockton recommends residents not move through “standing water.” Those traveling should slow down and be cautious. Debris and hazards may remain once water levels go down. Dark or flashing traffic signals should be treated as “all-way stops.”

For updates on highway closures, visit the California Department of Transportation District 10 online at or follow them on Twitter at 7Ctwcamp%5Eembeddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Escreen-name%3ACaltransDist10%7Ctwcon%5Es2.

Free self-fill sandbag locations:


Stockton residents can still receive free self-fill sandbags at these two locations. Residents should bring their own shovels. The bags should be filled one-half to two-thirds full, and they should lay flat to stack.

  • Oak Park Little League field parking lot, 3545 Alvarado Ave.
  • Former Van Buskirk Golf Course, 1740 Houston Ave.


Manteca residents can receive free sandbags at a self-serve station at 210 E. Wetmore Street in the Southeast parking lot.


Lathrop residents can self-fill free sandbags at the corner of Seventh and L street on 15685 7th street, adjacent to the skate park.


Tracy residents can self-serve a limit of 10 sandbags at the Boyd Service Center on 520 Tracy Blvd, Gate #1.

Thornton Fire

Sandbags are also available at 12449 W. Walnut Grove Road in Thornton.

For these locations or other winter storm information visit:

To stay up to date with storm updates in the City of Stockton visit:

How can I help?

In residential areas residents can help by clearing debris and leaves away from storm drains and by checking on family, friends and neighbors, Cochran said.

Eleacar Cruz with Brightview Landscape Services cleans up debris at Eden Park in Stockton on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, left by the atmospheric river storm that hit Stockton over the weekend.

All city of Stockton parks immediately closed

Parks in Stockton are closed as of Tuesday “due to tree hazards,” the city said in a statement.

“Due to the significant amount of rain, tree root structures have surfaced, and branches are weakened from years of drought conditions. Recent storms conditions have softened the ground, and many trees and branches are now falling,” the city said in the statement.

City leaders are asking community members to “not access, pass through, or walk near parks.”

Trees that have fallen but are not blocking any structures, vehicles, sidewalks or streets will be addressed after the storm. Trees that are blocking streets should be reported to (209) 937-8341.

“Crews are working around-the-clock to open remaining streets/lanes, clear fallen trees and debris from the city right-of-way, and monitor storm water system,” Cochran said.

Comments are closed.