December 8, 2021 – The National Weather Service Sacramento predicts Nevada County will receive .75 inches of rain Wednesday evening into Thursday night, with wetter systems to take aim on Northern California late this weekend and next week. To prepare, free sand and sandbags are available for pickup at four convenient locations.

We would like to take a moment to extend our gratitude to the community. The recent atmospheric river, bomb-cyclone event of late October, which brought double-digit rainfall in just 3-days, elevated flooding concerns throughout the County. During this time, the overwhelming number of folks who took advantage of this free sandbag service exhibited kindness and patience, and for that, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the folks who took steps to be #ReadyNevadaCounty.

Self-serve Sandbag Stations 

We aim to keep each sand station fully stocked, always. You will find free sand and sandbags at each location year-round. Sometimes the demand for these items exceeds our ability to keep all sites stocked. 

Pro-tip: Rain in California seems to be more of an outlier than a regular occurrence. We recommend that you pick up sandbags before the rains start. We know this isn’t always possible with work, kids, school, etc. If you can, swing by a sand station before precipitation begins to avoid the crowds and long lines that may occur during a larger storm.

What items should you bring to keep the line moving quickly? 

  • 2 People. We recommend bringing a friend or family member to hold the bag open while you shovel sand or vice versa. This keeps the line moving! 
  • Shovel 
  • Gloves 

Sharing is Caring 

Please take only the sand you need to prevent flooding on your personal property. These stations are designed to support residents. If you are a commercial entity, please visit one of the local businesses in Nevada County that sell sand.  

Your Patience is Appreciated 

As these stations are self-serve, folks may move a little slower than you’re used to. We are grateful for folks’ patience as people work their way through the sand loading line. During the last mega-storm, we witnessed random acts of kindness. We saw strangers helping strangers. We could all use a little more of this neighborly kindness this holiday season. Way to go, Nevada County!

Community Effort

The Office of Emergency Services provides free sand and sandbags. Station locations are made available through a generous partnership with the following fire districts: the North San Juan Volunteer Fire Department, the Penn Valley Fire District, and the Higgins Fire District. If you have the opportunity, please share your thanks with the personnel at these fire stations who provide the public space for this free, self-serve service. Their participation is vital and we are thankful for their continued support of this community program.  

Pick-Up Locations 

  • Next to the Nevada County Warehouse
    Corner of Highway 49 and East Broad St.
    Nevada City, CA 95959
  • North San Juan Community Hall
    10057 Reservoir Street
    North San Juan, CA 95960
  • Higgins Fire Department
    10106 Combie Road, Auburn, CA 95602 
  • Penn Valley Fire Protection District
    10513 Spenceville Road
    Penn Valley, CA 95946

If you are at a station that needs more sand or sandbags, please let us know! Reach out to the Office of Emergency Services at 530-265-1515. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm.