County of Marin - News Releases - Marin Storm

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2016

Storm Prompts Emergency Activation in Marin

Creek waters hit flood stage but then subside; no injuries reported

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin partially activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor a storm that caused some surface street flooding, road closures and power outages in areas around the county, but storm conditions subsided in the early evening. No injuries were reported and the operations center, minimally staffed, was closed at 7 p.m.

Cars are stranded on a thin slice of land between Richardson Bay and a flooded roadway near Gate 6 in SausalitoVehicles are stranded on a thin slice of land between Richardson Bay and the flooded roadway near Gate 6 in Sausalito.

Creeks in the Ross Valley and San Geronimo Valley crept close to flood stages and in some cases reached them in the late afternoon, but the water levels tapered off and there were no reports of inundation. Flood warning sirens were sounded in the towns of Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax, and the business district of downtown San Anselmo was evacuated as a precaution. Some sections of Corte Madera Creek in Ross leaked out onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near the Ross/San Anselmo border and caused traffic disturbances. 

In the San Geronimo Valley, 22 homes flooded in Woodacre and Forest Knolls. Papermill Creek overflowed in Forest Knolls, flooding homes on Morales, Montezuma and Castro streets. Water from road runoff flowed into homes in Woodacre. Residents in the area self-evacuated except for one woman who needed assistance.

A portion of Lucas Valley Road was closed one mile west of Big Rock because of a tree that fell into power lines, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company expected the road to be closed until some time Friday.

San Rafael reported no notable storm activity except for localized minor flooding. A Highway 101 underpass at Lucas Valley Road temporarily was flooded up to vehicle wheelwells. More localized flooding was reported along 101 the Larkspur area and in southern Mill Valley at Shoreline Highway.

In Novato, several minor levee breaches took place near the Marin County Airport, also known as Gnoss Field, but the water overflowed into agricultural areas and airport operations were not impacted. Closer to neighborhoods, Novato Creek levels hovered around half-capacity.

The National Weather Services said the rains peaked at three-tenths of an inch per hour in mid-afternoon but eased off to one-tenth by the late afternoon. Winds gusts of 30 mph were reported at several Marin locations.

Watch for storm updates on the County’s social media accounts. Register your cell phone to receive texted or emailed emergency alerts at For more information on disaster preparedness, check

December 16 update:

County crews continued to clean up storm debris from roads throughout unincorporated Marin. Mud, rocks and tree limbs were strewn on many roads, especially in the San Geronimo Valley and West Marin. Very little structural damage was reported to County facilities.

Lucas Valley Road reopened just before 6 a.m. Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to several reports of capsized boats on Richardson Bay, according to news reports.


Tony Williams
Assistant Director
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6432
Email: Tony Williams
Public Works website