Mayor Reports in on Recent Events

Alameda Fire Department -- A member of the Alameda Fire Department responds to flooding of a street after the recent rainstorms.
Alameda Fire Department -- A member of the Alameda Fire Department responds to flooding of a street after the recent rainstorms.

Mayor Reports in on Recent Events

Column covers rainstorms, floods, leaf blowers, more

It was a dark and stormy night
On Dec. 31, 2022, hours of heavy rainfall followed by an extremely high tide resulted in flooding across the city. Alameda Fire Department, assisted by Alameda Police Department (APD), Public Works Department (Public Works), Alameda Municipal Power, and PG&E, responded to numerous reports of flooding and requests for water removal from basements, rooftops, and roadways. Crews pumped water from homes and property and closed roadways to assure safe travel. Thankfully, there were no reports of injuries to residents or first responders.

More showers are forecasted for the coming days so, to keep yourself and your property safe, visit for advice on storm preparedness. Tips include:
• Clear gutters of leaves and other debris and place this material in your green bin.
• Avoid putting leaves and yard waste in the street as this clogs storm drains.
• Park vehicles and place waste containers one foot away from the curb so storm water can flow unobstructed.
• Have an emergency plan in place for your family, and a dry place for storm supplies. Learn more at 
• Also, please do not drive through flooded intersections or roadways because water could be deep enough to cause vehicles to lose control or stall. Given the rapid onset of recent heavy rains, localized flooding can occur before Public Works is able to place signs and barricades. Rather than drive through flooded areas, find an alternate route to avoid injuries and/or needing to be towed, and incurring costly repair bills.

Public Works is working diligently to keep up with demand for sandbags. When available, up to five sandbags per household are provided. For sandbag availability and location(s), please check the City’s website: To report flooding or other storm-related issues, or request assistance during a storm, call APD’s non-emergency number, 510-337-8340.

Sign up for AC Alert to receive notices about local emergencies such as severe weather, road closures, earthquakes, fires, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. Sign up by visiting

Say goodbye to gas powered leaf blowers
Starting Jan. 1, the use and sale of gasoline-powered leaf blowers are banned in the City of Alameda. The ban was enacted by a City Council ordinance passed last September to help eliminate emissions and pollutants that exacerbate climate change and expose operators and anyone nearby to health risks. (The ban on gas-powered leaf blowers is also included in the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan.) Businesses will no longer be allowed to sell this equipment and must also post a visible notice about the ban.

Since September, City staff have worked to educate the public and local businesses about the ban: Multi-lingual flyers were provided to local hardware stores, ads were placed in local newspapers, information about the ban was shared on the City’s website and social media channels, and a letter and flyer, in English and Spanish, were sent to all gardeners/landscape contractors with Alameda business licenses. (NOTE: All gardeners/landscape contractors are required to have a valid City of Alameda Business License.) More information is available at

There are penalties for violating the ban, so please replace your gasoline-powered leaf blower now or tell your gardeners/landscapers that they must do the same. For the next few months, as City staff continue community education efforts, only “warning citations” will be issued. After that, anyone liable for a violation can be cited.

This includes anyone using a gas-powered leaf blower, an employee, business, tenant, or property owner. Enforcement will be complaint driven; residents can report gas-powered leaf blower usage through a form on the city’s Webpage. 

There are good alternatives to gas-powered leaf blowers, including electric and battery-powered leaf blowers. You can apply to participate in the State of California’s CORE program, which provides vouchers to purchase new equipment. Additionally, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District periodically runs a gardening equipment exchange program. for more information. Or use a rake!

Take more walks in 2023
In her book, 52 ways to walk, Annabel Streets highlights the health benefits of walking — reversing diabetes, fending off heart disease, lowering blood pressure, increasing bone density, countering anxiety and depression, and more. Streets’ suggestions for ways to walk include exploring different parts of your city by walking.

Alameda is a perfect place to explore by walking. For example, did you know that there are 24 parks in Alameda? Try visiting them all by foot or bike.

Celebrate the Grand Opening of one of our newest parks, Bohol Circle Immigrant Park (2901 Fifth St.) and stroll the waterfront promenade on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Happy New Year, Alameda! Be Alameda Strong all year long!

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is the Mayor of Alameda.