Tom Fayram Flood Prep DPG Talk

Here are the slides from the PowerPoint file that was displayed during Tom Fayram’s presentation on flood preparedness for the Nov.19, 2015 DPG meeting. Tom is Deputy Public Works Director for the Water Resources Division of County Public Works.

We also have an audio recording of his talk (10MB MP3 file), and if anyone would like to put it online please contact us. In coming days I may add more notes from his talk.

His talk began with this photo of flooding. We were surprised when he told us it’s the 101 Fairview exit during previous El Niño flooding, where the current creek underpass work is in progress to reduce flood risk there.


He showed us this slide of drought years.


He talked about how the County and other agencies must work within their budgets, and therefore we all share responsibility for disaster preparation.


This next slide shows the differences between the current El Niño and 1997, noting that the current one is already stronger than 1997. Later he also pointed out the large red areas indicating warmer water off CA and AK (called “The Blob” by forecasters), noting that there’s no historical precedent for this and the effects on our Winter weather are unknown.


He said that El Niño years don’t always result in heavy rainfall or a high annual rainfall total.


He pointed out that despite the current record El Niño offshore, this year so far has brought unprecedented low total rainfall.


He talked about the effects of heavy rain on saturated soil, and sustained high rainfall rates.


He outlined preparations being done by various agencies. He stressed the value of Federal flood insurance (government program with private companies providing coverage), and emphasized the 30 day “grace” period before insurance takes effect. In other words, if you buy flood insurance 29 days before your home is flooded there is no coverage. He suggests buying now.


Note that the “Flood Prevention” pamphlet shown above-right is available as a PDF file here. Despite the above image of a sandbagged home, he didn’t have time to go into detail on how to place them. That information is available on the County website (links below).


Tom described some of the flood preparation work the County does every year, beginning in March. Below is an example of debris they remove to prevent blockage of drainage channels. He pointed out that the County provides 25 free sandbags 24/7 just West of Old Mill off Calle Real. Stuart Clyde pointed out that San Vicente also has free sandbags available.


Tom talked about how the County has no access to or responsibility for most creeks and other drainage channels because they’re on private property, but they do all they can.


He briefly outlined some of the flood response capabilities they have, and talked about how hard these crews work in any disaster. They often work for many hours without rest to protect and assist the public, but the crew is very small for the size of their service area.


This is why it’s so important for each of us to do all we can to prepare. He is extremely impressed with our DPG and how much we’ve done to prepare. He several times reiterated the value of flood insurance and sandbags if needed. He also stressed the importance of a disaster kit (supplies to survive an extended period without power or other utilities), and an evacuation plan (see the “911” DPG section of this website for helpful info here).


He provided the link for info on Flood Insurance at


He displayed this FEMA map of San Vicente & Rancho that shows areas subject to flood potential (larger version in a previous post here on our website).


In this satellite image of our parks, there is a blue line indicating the course of Atascadero Creek which runs through our parks.


In the next slide he listed some online resources he suggests for further info. Here are the same links in a format you can click on to visit: (no www prefix)


Below is another photo of earlier flooding at the Fairview intersection with 101.


He shared this cartoon of Godzilla representing El Niño and the Blob being what forecasters are calling that unprecedented red area shown offshore of the West Coast in the NOAA slide above.


To end his talk and introduce our brief open question period, he showed this slide of Lake Cachuma nearly dry and stressed how badly we need rain.


11/12/2015 Board Minutes

San Vicente Homeowners Board Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2015


Officers Present: Bob Mann, Ronnie Sumter, Paul Ortega

Board Members Present: Pat Haden, Jack Jackson, Mark Allen, Lilith Imbrogno, Ellen Duke, Don Webb

Board Members Absent: Cheryl Mrachek, Tony Jimenez

Guests: Mollie Mann, Colin Stephens, Andi Hendrickson, Mary Helen Nunez

Bob Mann, president, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The Board Association Minutes of October 8th, 2015 were read and approved as corrected. (In Announcements/New Business, 2016 should be 2015 and 2018 should be 2017.)

Treasurer’s Report: Paul Ortega reported that the October checking account balance was $2.741.25, there were bank fees of $2.50, and the current balance is $2,738.75. In addition, legal defense fund balance is $19,419.34.

Social Committee Report: Mollie Mann reported that the free-to-residents Lasagna Dinner was a great success, but 12 people who signed up (20% of the total!) did not show up or let the committee know they were not going to come. This was disappointing especially to the people who had wanted to come to this “sold out” event and had been on a waiting list. We hope and request that in the future if someone cannot come to any event they have signed-up for, they will let the hosts know in advance.

The December Christmas Dinner will be on Saturday, December 12th, at 4:30. $10 for residents, $12 for guests. There is a 75 person limit. Also, please bring 2 cans of food to be donated to the Unity Shop. Details in the Voice.

HOA annual membership meeting/Chili dinner January 14th, 2016 at 5:30. $5 per resident.

SCAMPR Report: Ellen attended the October SCAMPR meeting and also a public committee hearing on the proposed Goleta Park Closure Ordinance at Goleta City Hall. It appears a closure ordinance will be passed. A board member asked about the 2 story mobile? homes at the little old Trailer park off Salinas St. Ellen will follow-up.

On-Line Committee: Ellen noted that the website provided the first notice of the upcoming El Niño DPG meeting on November 19th. The notice includes useful maps not included in the printed notice in our mailboxes. The more we use it the better it will be!

Old Business

Bylaws Revisions: The change in Bylaws was discussed, particularly clarifying the proposal to have board elections every two years for board members serving four year terms. There is a consensus that this is a good change and the plan is to propose it to the membership for a vote at the January Annual Meeting.

Election of New Officers: The current officers are willing to continue to serve and there being no other board members who wish to be an officer, Don moved that the current officers be elected. This was seconded and passed unanimously.

New Board Members: There is an opening for one new board member. Out of the five Board members who are up for election one will retire. At this time no other candidates have come forward. The November 20th deadline is fast approaching. This is a great opportunity to learn and get involved with keeping our “neighborhood” a wonderful place to live. No previous experience required.

Negotiations: No news.

Announcements/New Business

El Niño Readiness Meeting, Nov.19, 7pm, San Vicente Clubhouse. Please try to attend this important meeting with our DPG and Management and other local experts.

Membership Drive: Paul is talking to his neighbors about joining the HOA and is requesting that other members contact their neighbors as well.

Tech Advisory Group: Resident Colin Stephens volunteered to chair a tech advisory group. Interested residents are invited to join. (We will have a better description at the next meeting.)

The meeting was adjourned at 8 pm.

Next Board meeting will be December 10th, 2015 at 7 P.M. in the Clubhouse.

El Niño Readiness Meeting

Nov.19, 7pm, San Vicente Clubhouse

In the news we’ve been reading about record flooding, along with warnings that this Winter a strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean could bring that trend to Santa Barbara. The SVMHP Disaster Preparedness Group (DPG) is organizing a readiness meeting, with material being gathered by block captain John Wiley on the SVMHA website:

The title of the current article is “Flood Map.” There’s a link in the right column of the website, or you can find it via the “Latest” tab in the row across the top of the screen. Further information may also be added to the DPG section of the website, via the top row tab titled “911” which has several sections that may be of interest.

Representatives from the County and SV management are being consulted and plan to attend this meeting. Some measures may be implemented after the meeting, based on information and suggestions. Minutes of the meeting and some related readiness suggestions will be published on the above website, for the benefit of anyone interested.

All San Vicente & Rancho residents are invited, the formal meeting is planned to start promptly at 7pm for one hour with time for questions and open discussion afterward.