County of Marin - News Releases - Storm Response

For Immediate Release
December 03, 2014

Marin Agencies Respond to Storm Calls

Firefighters come to aid of homes and businesses

San Rafael, CA – As flood response efforts tapered off Wednesday afternoon in Marin County, public works and emergency personnel prepared for more unsettled weather following an overnight deluge December 2-3 that caused a rush of emergency calls.

A large tree is shown laying on top of a crushed sport utility vehicle in a driveway as the result of high winds in Marin.Many areas of Marin received more than 4 inches in a 24-hour period, and winds were recorded as high as 55 mph, according to the Marin County Fire Department. The combination of heavy rains and winds caused flooding, downed trees, mud slides and power outages. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company was in the midst of handling 15 power outages spread throughout the county, some caused by downed trees.

In populated areas along Richardson Bay and San Francisco Bay, tidal flooding combined with surface rainwater caused major traffic tie-ups. The Manzanita junction area between Mill Valley and Sausalito was a particular problem area with flooding both east and west of Highway 101. More flooding took place on Miller Avenue in Mill Valley north of Almonte Boulevard, along Camino Alto in Mill Valley, Bridge Street connecting Marin City and Sausalito, and the Shelter Bay ramp on Highway 101. Further north, the southbound South Novato Boulevard exit in Novato was flooded.

According to the . Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) Flood Control Division, tides were well over the predicted level Wednesday morning at 7.8 feet compared with the 6.5 feet predicted, and daily higher high tides are expected to remain higher than predicted throughout the week. Tides should taper down to a predicted high tide of 6 feet by the late morning of Monday, December 8.

The National Weather Service indicated that the heaviest rains of the storm had passed Marin, but intermittent rain and unsettled weather was expected to continue through Friday with up to 1.5 inches of rain possible between Wednesday afternoon and late Wednesday night. The National Weather Service chose not to extend flood advisories from earlier Wednesday in Marin but issued a coastal flood advisory through 4 p.m. Wednesday because of lingering effects from high tides. Drier conditions were forecast for the weekend, although the unsettled pattern is expected to return and lead to additional rain chances next week.

The California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies urged drivers to take extra precautions and to avoid areas with chronic or temporary flooding conditions. Details concerning traffic conditions and road closures can be found at County DPW reported no road closures in unincorporated areas of Marin.

Firefighters from every agency in Marin answered storm-related calls during the overnight downpour and continued to help residents and businesses with flood mitigation efforts Wednesday. Marin County Fire Deputy Chief Mark Brown said firefighters from Mill Valley, Southern Marin, Tiburon and the County received a rush of emergency calls after the storm slammed Southern Marin at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. An undetermined number of homes and businesses were affected by water and mud following about 1.6 inches of rain over a three-hour period.

DPW crews have performed routine maintenance on pump stations, creeks, ditches and levees and regularly patrol flood-prone areas. DPW personnel is on standby to address issues should they arise during the current storm and throughout the winter season.

The County does not provide free sandbags to the public. Residents who live in towns and cities can check with their local government offices to see if sandbags are available at municipal corporation yards. Some hardware stores sell sandbags, including:

Martin Bros., 232 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley

Pini Ace Hardware, 1535 S. Novato Blvd., Novato

Shamrock Materials, 548 Dubois St., San Rafael

Water Components, 44 Simms St., San Rafael

Goodman’s Hardware, 775 Redwood Hwy., Mill Valley

Learn more through these resources:

Marin County Watershed Program Flood Preparedness:

Marin County Public Works Flood Control:

Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program:


Mark Brown
Deputy Chief
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Mark Brown
Marin County Fire website