By Wes Bowers
August 28, 2015
STOCKTON — It may have been 100 degrees in and around Stockton on Friday, and talk likely focused on heat and drought as people gathered around the water cooler at work or in community gathering spots.
But for the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services, it was another day to prepare for flooding.
With dire predictions of potentially extremely wet conditions this winter because of a strong El Niño, preparing for the floods everyone hopes won’t occur is time well spent, officials said.
Michael Cockrell, OES executive director, said he has met with representatives from the five Delta counties as well as several levee maintaining agencies to review and develop emergency response plans.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a more than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through the northern hemisphere through the 2015-16 winter, and an 85 percent chance it will last into early spring of 2016.
With a $1.7 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources awarded last November, Cockrell said the OES is working with Lodi, Lathrop and Manteca to ensure their emergency response plans are up-to-date and will soon begin working with other cities and communities in the county.