Request More Information

Home Care in Green Valley, CA

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Green Valley, CA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

Service Areas

What Our Clients Are Saying

Home Care Green Valley, CA

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Green Valley, CA. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Green Valley, CA work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Green Valley, CA

Types of In-home Care in Green Valley, CA

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Green Valley, CA

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Green Valley, CA

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Green Valley, CA

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Green Valley, CA

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Green Valley, CA

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Green Valley, CA
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Green Valley, CA

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Green Valley, CA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Green Valley, CA

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Green Valley, CA gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Green Valley, CA

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Green Valley,CA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Green Valley, CA

Most of California could experience significant flooding this week

CNN —Significant widespread flooding is possible across much of California on Monday as more heavy rain hits the state, forecasters say.“The longevity and intensity of rain, combined with the cumulative effect of successive heavy rain events dating back to the end of December, will lead to widespread and potentially significant flood impacts,” the Weather Prediction Center said Sunday morning...

CNN —

Significant widespread flooding is possible across much of California on Monday as more heavy rain hits the state, forecasters say.

“The longevity and intensity of rain, combined with the cumulative effect of successive heavy rain events dating back to the end of December, will lead to widespread and potentially significant flood impacts,” the Weather Prediction Center said Sunday morning.

A “significant” atmospheric river event is expected to impact much of the state early this week, according to the prediction center.

Two major bouts of rain will impact the West Coast over the next few days. The concern is not just the rain, snow and wind, but there will be not much of a break in between events for the water to recede or cleanup to be completed.

“Numerous flash flooding events likely, some possibly significant, especially over burn scars,” the prediction center said.

The storms come on the heels of a powerful cyclone which flooded roads, toppled trees and knocked out power supplies. More than 400,000 customers were still without power Sunday morning, according to PowerOutage.US. And a New Year’s weekend storm also produced flooding rains across the state, which is already off to a very wet start to the year.

Flooding impacts have already been reported in the city, according to San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Carroll. “We’re seeing sinkholes on our streets – a few of them. We’re seeing mudslides – nothing significant at this point. But the more rain we get and the less time in between, we know we’re going to see more of those conditions,” Carroll told CNN.

The city’s communications infrastructure, cellular and internet, is underground so “as we get more inundation from the rain, we’re seeing more failure around those, what we call lifeline systems” for power and communication, said Carroll.

Officials in Monterey County have issued evacuation warnings for low-lying areas of the Carmel and Big Sur Rivers “effective immediately and until further notice due to the incoming storm” according to Facebook posts by the Monterey Sheriff’s office.

An additional evacuation warning has been issued for areas of the Pajaro Community.

Record rainfall sets the stage

Over 15 million people are under flood watches across much of California ahead of this atmospheric river event which could bring several more inches of rain to the state through Tuesday.

“While some of the forecast rain totals are impressive alone, it is important to note that what really sets this event apart are the antecedent conditions,” the National Weather Service office in San Francisco said. “Multiple systems over the past week have saturated soil, increased flow in rivers and streams, and truly set the stage for this to become a high impact event.”

Last week, San Francisco experienced its wettest 10-day period on record for downtown since 1871. So far they have had more than a foot of rain just since December 1, and the forecast calls for an additional 3 to 5 inches of rain in the next five days.

Much of the state has already seen 5 to 8 inches of rain over the last week which has greatly saturated the soil. And additional rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are expected across the coasts and valleys, however the mountains and foothills are forecast to see up to 4 to 8 inches through Tuesday.

“With the heavy rain expected, and already very wet soils in place, there will be an increased risk for rock/mudslide activity in the local mountains and canyon roadways,” the weather service in Los Angeles said.

This has led the prediction center to issue a Level 3 out of 4 risk for excessive rainfall for over 15 million people in the state on Monday including those in San Francisco, Sacramento, Monterey, Fresno, and Oxnard. A Level 4 out of 4 “high risk” notice may become necessary for Monday if the forecast guidance continues to increase rainfall totals, the prediction center wrote in their discussion Sunday morning.

The rainfall over the weekend brought renewed flood concerns for local streams, creeks, and rivers. The Colgan Creek, Berryessa Creek, Mark West Creek, Green Valley Creek, and the Cosumnes River all have gauges that are currently above flood stage or expected to be in the next few days.

“Tuesday is probably the day where you’ll likely need to keep a really close eye on the weather as the potential for widespread flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and roadway and urban flooding will be at its highest during the next week as all the runoff and heavy precipitation comes together resulting in a mess,” the weather service office in Sacramento said.

The main concerns for coastal communities will be widespread flooding, gusty winds, and dangerous beach and marine conditions. In the higher elevations it will be heavy snow and strong winds leading to near whiteout conditions for anyone traveling on the roads.

In addition to the heavy rainfall, another round of strong winds is expected to accompany the storm as it pushes inland, which could lead to even more downed trees and power lines causing additional power outages.

“Valley areas will likely see gusts as high as 45-50 mph, with gusts greater than 60 mph possible in wind prone areas,” the weather service office in Reno said. “Sierra crest wind gusts will likely approach 150+ mph as the strong subtropical jet moves overhead Monday. US-95 remains a big concern, especially for high profile vehicles Monday.”

As the storm pushes farther inland, “Localized areas of 5+ feet (of snow) possible along the Sierra crest west of Lake Tahoe. Waves up to 4 feet on Lake Tahoe,” the weather service added.

The heavy snow and strong winds will also lead to near whiteout conditions on roads – so travel is not advised during the height of the storm.

“Plan on significant travel delays in the Sierra,” the weather said.

Even after this major system Monday and Tuesday moves out, the possibility of yet another impactful system is already on the horizon. Guidance is slowly increasing for a new system at the end of the week to impact Northern California, though it is still too far out for more details at this point.

“Overall, there is high confidence (60-80%) that this wetter-than-normal pattern will continue through the next couple of weeks,” the weather service in San Francisco said. “While we don’t have details on how much rain above normal will fall, suffice it to say that the continuation of saturated soils could continue to pose hazards into the third week of January.”

More extreme weather on tap for California as series of atmospheric river events arrive

CNN —California has been battered by heavy snow, damaging winds and flooding this week – and now another round of storms is set to hit the West Coast this weekend.“Relentless parade of cyclones from the Pacific will bring more flooding rains and mountain snows to the West Coast with main focus across northern California,” the Weather Prediction Center said Saturday.Multiple sto...

CNN —

California has been battered by heavy snow, damaging winds and flooding this week – and now another round of storms is set to hit the West Coast this weekend.

“Relentless parade of cyclones from the Pacific will bring more flooding rains and mountain snows to the West Coast with main focus across northern California,” the Weather Prediction Center said Saturday.

Multiple storms will reach the West Coast over the next few days. The concern is not just the rain, snow and wind, but there will be not much of a break in between events for the water to recede or cleanup to be completed.

“We do expect an even stronger storm to impact the state Sunday night through Tuesday than the one we will see early on this weekend,” said Matt Solum, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Western Region Headquarters. “We encourage everyone to take the time over the weekend to make any needed preparations for the next storm coming in.”

The next storms come on the heels of a powerful cyclone which flooded roads, toppled trees and knocked out power to most across California. Earlier, a New Year’s weekend storm system also produced flooding.

This weekend the main concerns for the coastal communities will be widespread flooding, gusty winds, and dangerous beach and marine conditions. In the higher elevations it will be heavy snow and strong winds leading to near whiteout conditions for anyone traveling on the roads.

Winds are forecast to be around 40-50 mph in the valleys and up to 70 mph in the mountains, which is lower than the storm earlier this week, but still nothing to brush off.

“While these winds won’t be on the order of the previous/stronger system it really won’t take much to bring trees down given saturated conditions and weakened trees from the last event,” the weather service in San Francisco posted Friday.

Even a 40 mph wind can do damage when the ground is so saturated from record rainfall earlier this week and the cumulative effect of the new rainfall expected this weekend.

“Impacts to infrastructure include but are not limited to; river flooding, mudslides, power outages & snow load,” the prediction center said in a tweet.

The most widespread concern over the next week will certainly be flooding thanks to several atmospheric river events. Atmospheric rivers are a narrow band of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere.

The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, which monitors atmospheric river events, is now forecasting a level 5 atmospheric river event – the highest level possible – in the next several days. While the focal point of this event will be near Monterey and Big Sur, California, intense moisture will also spread into the surrounding areas of San Francisco and San Jose where a level 4 atmospheric river event is forecast.

Flooding from record rainfall could get worse

Earlier this week, San Francisco experienced its wettest 10-day period on record for downtown since 1871. So far they have had more than a foot of rain just since December 1, and the forecast calls for an additional 4-6 inches of rain in the next five days.

Sacramento is also expected to see significant rainfall totals of 4-7 inches in the valleys and 6-12 inches in the foothills.

“Additional rain on already saturated soils will contribute to additional flooding concerns across much of the state,” Solum told CNN. “There will continue to be an increased risk of rock slides and mud slides across much of the state as well.”

More than 15 million people are under flood watches across the state of California this weekend. There is also a slight-to-moderate risk of excessive rainfall across much of northern and central California Saturday and Sunday. It increases to a more widespread moderate risk by Monday.

The rainfall over the weekend will bring renewed concerns for local streams, creeks, and rivers. The Colgan Creek, Berryessa Creek, Mark West Creek, Green Valley Creek, and the Cosumnes River all have gauges either currently above flood stage or expected to be in the next few days.

“Tuesday is probably the day where you’ll likely need to keep a really close eye on the weather as the potential for widespread flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and roadway and urban flooding will be at its highest during the next week as all the runoff and heavy precipitation comes together resulting in a mess,” the weather service office in Sacramento said.

In addition to heavy rain, there will be significant amounts of snow across the higher elevations.

“Snow totals are looking to be 1-2 feet with some of the higher elevations seeing 3 feet or more leading to significant travel impacts,” the weather service office in Sacramento said.

La Nina winter behaving more like El Nino

We are currently under a La Niña advisory for the winter months before transitioning back to a more neutral pattern by the spring.

El Niño and La Niña forecast patterns put out by the Climate Prediction Center give guidelines on what the overall forecast can be during a seasonal time period.

“During a La Niña, typically the Pacific Northwest sees wetter than normal conditions and Southern California sees drier than normal conditions,” Marybeth Arcodia, a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University said. “This is due to the jet stream being pushed farther north and having a wavier pattern. “

The problem is, Mother Nature hasn’t exactly been following the anticipated norms for a La Niña winter so far this year.

“However, in the past three months, Oregon has been slightly drier than normal and California has been slightly wetter than normal (the opposite of what is expected),” Arcodia told CNN. While El Niño and La Niña patterns typically have a large influence on seasonal conditions in the West Coast, “there are always additional factors at play,” she added.

One such factor has been multiple atmospheric river events pummeling California with intense amounts of moisture.

“Atmospheric rivers typically form during the winter months and can occur during El Niños or La Niñas,” Arcodia said, noting their strength, frequency, and landfall location can be influenced by the larger patterns in the Pacific.

Michael Tippett, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, points out that the forecast patterns are not meant to be used on a day-to-day forecast scale but rather the entire season as a whole. This is why researching the patterns is so important.

“There is an element of randomness that is not explained by the patterns,” Tippett told CNN. “This might help us understand why one year is different than the other.”

Where we stand on Thursday evening: Storm damage and up 5 more inches of rain coming in next 2 storms

As of Thursday afternoon, Rio del Mar and the mouth of Pajaro River have flooded, strong high tide swells have wrecked the Seacliff pier and overwhelmed Santa Cruz’s West Cliff Drive, forcing partial closure of road and an evacuation of the wharf.Although this storm has mostly subsided, two more storms will hit Santa Cruz County between Thursday and Monday, according to National Weather Service Bay Area meteorologist Warren Blier. These storms are expected to be wetter, but with calmer winds. The next storm is forecasted to arri...

As of Thursday afternoon, Rio del Mar and the mouth of Pajaro River have flooded, strong high tide swells have wrecked the Seacliff pier and overwhelmed Santa Cruz’s West Cliff Drive, forcing partial closure of road and an evacuation of the wharf.

Although this storm has mostly subsided, two more storms will hit Santa Cruz County between Thursday and Monday, according to National Weather Service Bay Area meteorologist Warren Blier. These storms are expected to be wetter, but with calmer winds. The next storm is forecasted to arrive on Saturday and last until Sunday night, dropping up to 2 inches in Santa Cruz and up to 5 inches in the mountains. The second storm will arrive on the first’s coattails, and rain on the county from Sunday night to Monday night. Santa Cruz will see up to 3 inches of rain, and up to 8 inches in the mountains.

Areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains are still receiving rain, but the peak of this storm has passed. As expected by Wednesday night, rainfall totals for this storm fell short of the alarming forecasts made earlier in the week. Santa Cruz saw about 1.2 inches of rain, Watsonville 1.02 inches, and the mountains received just shy of 5 inches, Blier said.

The most significant factor of last night’s storm was the wind, which reached up to 55 mph in Ben Lomond and 52 mph near Natural Bridges. Mt. Umunhum, a Santa Cruz Mountains peak just over the Santa Clara County line, saw wind speeds reach 81 mph. Remarkably, the wind in Marin County peaked at 101 mph.

In Watsonville, city spokesperson Michelle Pulido says the city is helping residents in the southeastern part of the city return to their homes as evacuation orders have been lifted. In contrast to the New Year’s Eve storm, Pulido says the area saw no flooding. However, the Pajaro River watershed remains under close watch as the Uvas and Pacheco reservoirs, upstream along the Pajaro River, flooded last night, according to Matthew Machado, the county’s public works director. The peak of the storm’s impact on the South County portion of the Pajaro River isn’t expected to arrive until 9pm Thursday night.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the county’s public works department had closed 23 county roads as a result of the “bomb cyclone” that rolled through the region on Wednesday into Thursday.

As was the case Wednesday, most of the closures are concentrated within the Santa Cruz Mountains, specifically Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Lompico and around Fall Creek State Park. Whereas the road closures up in the mountains resulted from high winds knocking down trees and power poles, East Cliff Drive between Santa Cruz and Capitola was closed due to some flooding and strong coastal storm surges. Similar closures also occurred along West Cliff Drive.

West Beach Road, at the southern tip of the county, was also closed due to flooding near the mouth of Pajaro River. Although much of South County avoided flooding during the Wednesday into Thursday storm, the area will remain under close watch, as the impacts of the storm on the Pajaro River will not be felt until 9pm tonight. Matthew Machado, the county’s public works director, says two reservoirs upstream from the Pajaro River — the Uvas and Pacheco reservoirs — overflowed Wednesday night.

In addition to the 23 county roads shut down by the storm on Wednesday, seven roads throughout the county remained closed due to damage sustained during the New Year’s Eve storm. This includes Hazel Dell Road at the intersection of Green Valley Road, two points on China Grade Road, and Granite Creek Road.

Please continue to send videos, photos and any stories of storm impacts to new[email protected]

California Wine Town to Fight Blackouts With Batteries, Hydrogen

A California wine country town plagued by wildfires and blackouts could soon get a backup power supply capable of running most of its homes and businesses for two days on batteries and green hydrogen.Utility giant PG&E Corp. and Energy Vault Holdings Inc. plan to create a microgrid covering most of Calistoga, a small town of restaurants, tasting rooms and shops at Napa Valley’s northern end. During disruptions on the region’s electrical grid, the microgrid would use a mix of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells running...

A California wine country town plagued by wildfires and blackouts could soon get a backup power supply capable of running most of its homes and businesses for two days on batteries and green hydrogen.

Utility giant PG&E Corp. and Energy Vault Holdings Inc. plan to create a microgrid covering most of Calistoga, a small town of restaurants, tasting rooms and shops at Napa Valley’s northern end. During disruptions on the region’s electrical grid, the microgrid would use a mix of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells running on hydrogen to supply the town, with no greenhouse gas emissions.

Fuel cells employ an electrochemical process — rather than combustion — to generate electricity, and when fueled by hydrogen, their only emissions are water vapor. Energy Vault will buy the hydrogen, which will be stripped from water using solar power, from a third-party supplier.

PG&E and other California utilities have resorted to shutting off power lines in advance of high winds, following a string of deadly wildfires sparked by their equipment. Such “public safety power shutoffs” repeatedly have hit Calistoga and nearby towns, and fires have menaced their neighborhoods. Hills covered in charred trees from 2020’s Glass Fire loom over Calistoga’s downtown.

The new system will provide protection during public safety shutoffs without resorting to diesel or natural gas generators, said Robert Piconi, Energy Vault’s chief executive officer. The system, which can serve 2,000 homes and businesses, will provide carbon-free power in a place ill-suited to a large solar or wind facility, and its batteries will be able to start supplying energy almost instantly when needed. Although the two companies aren’t revealing an exact price, Piconi said in an interview it will be less than $100 million. The project will require the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission.

“It will be an economical solution to solve use cases that otherwise couldn’t be solved with renewables, and that’s very exciting to us,” Piconi said.

Energy Vault first gained attention for using gravity to store large amounts of energy — far more than lithium-ion batteries can hold. Its gravity-based system uses electric motors to lift large, heavy blocks off the ground, stacking them inside a building whenever electricity is cheap and plentiful, then lowering them and running the motors in reverse to generate electricity when needed. But that system, Piconi said, would not have worked for Calistoga, likely requiring an 18- to 20-story structure that would not have blended into the low-lying town. Calistoga is home to some 50 wineries.

“That wasn’t going to be something, with the community there, that we could propose,” he said.

Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with service available in mid-2024.

California’s Native Plants Help Hold Up Our Hillsides — But Poachers Threaten Popular Succulents

No California storm reaction video brought me more joy than Jessie Dickson’s (aka sacramentofoodforest) meditation on one of the state’s native succulents.Dickson pans from a swollen dam outside of Sacramento at Natoma Lake to a muddy incline.“It's eroding like crazy but what's helping it stay up here? Beautiful California native Canyon Dudleya.”...

No California storm reaction video brought me more joy than Jessie Dickson’s (aka sacramentofoodforest) meditation on one of the state’s native succulents.

Dickson pans from a swollen dam outside of Sacramento at Natoma Lake to a muddy incline.

“It's eroding like crazy but what's helping it stay up here? Beautiful California native Canyon Dudleya.”

In Dickson’s video, a few commenters point out it looks as though some large stones are also helping preserve the area’s structural integrity.

Dudleya are green succulents with pointed leaves. They look a lot like the common echeveria you’d find at many grocery stores.

But dudleya are special. There are dozens of species— 26 of them are native to California and 10 are considered threatened or endangered.

“Dudleya are gang,” Dickson says. “Nothing is more gang than a plant that holds a wall together.”

While he wouldn’t use the word “gang,” California Native Plant Society Conservation Director Nick Jensen says the video is right.

The roots of native plants can hold soil in place.

“If you remove dudleya or if you remove other plants… you can have erosion which otherwise essentially destroys the habitat,” Jensen said. Dudleya are also an important source of food for pollinators like hummingbirds and bees.

Dudleya Need Protection

Development threatens many native plants, but succulents’ trendiness and colorful flowers mean dudleya face a unique threat — poaching.

In recent years, people have uprooted the California dudleya and sold them overseas — sometimes for hundreds of dollars.

The California Native Plant Society sponsored a bill passed in 2021 that increases the penalties for dudleya poaching. Assembly Bill 223 makes it a misdemeanor to sell a plant that was taken from public or private land without permission. The fine for selling at least $250 worth of the plant starts at $5,000.

Jensen says the law is only part of the solution.

“One of the things that people can always do to promote the conservation of native species is just appreciate them in their native habitat,” Jensen said. Take note of where you see dudleya in the wild — and if you notice them being disturbed, contact law enforcement or the California Native Plant Society, Jensen said.

Know Where Your Dudleya Is From

You can also enjoy dudleya much closer to home.

“Everyone should have a few dudleya on their patio,” Jensen says. He has several including the Dudleya pulverulenta— which has icy blue-green leaves and sprouts pinkish rosy-red flowers beloved by hummingbirds.

Dudleya are easy to grow and propagate and often sold by native plant nurseries like the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley and Plant-Material in Altadena, Glassell Park, and Silver Lake.

“Make sure that that they know the source of their plants,” Jensen said. “So you're not inadvertently buying a plant that was plucked from the wild.”

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.