Bay Area roofers working overtime to prepare for El Niño

Many Bay Area homeowners and businesses are working overtime to prepare for the El Niño weather pattern this season. The roofing industry, in particular, has seen a boom in business for the past several months.

David Marroquin with Up & Above Roofing in the East Bay said the company’s crews are fully booked as they work seven days a week. KTVU spoke to Marroquin as he and a worker were placing an emergency tarp on a San Leandro home on Wednesday that sprung a leak during the rain.

“The roofing [industry] has boomed this year, especially in the fall,” Marroquin said. “Now that the weather is here, our phones are just going crazy right now.”

Homeowners are also rushing to stores like Hayward Ace Hardware. Owner Jim Wieder and staff were restocking shelves after quickly selling out of umbrellas and rain gear Tuesday morning.

“Not only have we sold out of our rain gear, but we’re building a new area for rain gear. That’s why we brought all the inventory downstairs,” Wieder said.

And it seems many are heeding advice to prepare for flooding expected from El Niño. On Tuesday, FEMA announced new data shows an increase of more than 20,000 flood insurance policies written in California in November 2015.

For those who only need a little protection, self-serve sandbag locations around the Bay Area can help, according to Captain Jim Martinez with the Alameda County Fire Dept. Station 6 in Castro Valley.

“We just got another shipment of another four yards of sand, we have sand bags, so if your house has the potential for flooding, come by,” Martinez said.