This weekend’s storm has the potential to produce the worst flooding in Sausalito that we have seen in many years. Please take precautions now, and we have advice from the Sausalito Police Dept. below.
The Sausalito Public Works Department is offering a supply of sand and sandbags at the Martin Luther King School parking lot, across from the school gym. Enter the lot from Coloma Street, and the sand and sandbags are available 24 hours a day during the storm for Sausalito residents and merchants.
If there is an emergency and you need additional materials, you can contact the Sausalito Police Department at 415-289-4170 and they can give you access to additional sand and sandbags at the City Yard at 530 Nevada Street.
For recorded updates on conditions in Sausalito during the storm, you can call the city’s automated emergency information line at 415-289-4151.
A Double Threat to Sausalito
The National Weather Service actually compared the series of storms we are currently facing to the winter of 1982 yesterday. For those of you who missed it, that was the most destructive flood year in modern memory, so the comparison definitely got my attention! Update: They closed Muir Woods Sunday morning due to the high winds, which is a rare break in their “open 365 days a year policy.”
There’s also a one-two punch coming:
- An extended storm Friday-Monday that may bring 4 to 7 inches of rain to the North Bay (and a foot of water may fall in the Santa Cruz Mountains). That’s enough to create flooding in low-lying areas, and adjacent to even the most peaceful little creeks. Be sure to check all your gutters and storm drains because they’re going to be stressed to the max.
- “King Tides” have picked a lousy time to return, and will peak at 8:20 AM on Monday, January 9, at 9:12 AM on Tuesday, January 10, at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, January 11, and at 10:50 AM on Thursday, January 12. These super-high tides can cause flooding all by themselves in Sausalito along Gate 6 1/2 Road, Gate 6 Road, Gate 5 Road, Coloma St., Harbor Dr., Marinship Way and Liberty Ship Way. The Manzanita Park and Ride Lot is also badly flooded.
When you add rain runoff from soil that is already saturated from the last storm the flooding from the King Tides could be severe enough to completely cover a parked car in some of our lowest lying streets.
Advice from Sausalito Police
Here’s their advice as we all prepare for this storm and the King Tides, with a few additional comments from my experience as a Marin native:
Check the drains or gutters at your home. If they get clogged you can get a lot of water damage very quickly. A clogged storm drain on the street above my parents’ house in the 1982 storms overflowed and almost broke their carport in half by undercutting the foundation. The resulting crack made the carport almost 3 inches wider in 1983 than it was in 1981!
Move anything that isn’t waterproof from areas where you’ve seen water get in during past storms, including the garage or carport.
Make sure you and your extended family have enough food, water and batteries for the next few days. If you have elderly or disabled neighbors please check in on them as well to make sure they’re prepared.
Recharge your laptop, phone, tablet and your backup charger in case the power goes out and PG&E can’t get to the problem for a while.
If a storm drain on your street starts overflowing and you don’t see Public Works crews in your area, IF AND ONLY IF YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY put on highly reflective rain gear and see if you can remove the leaves to restore water flow, which could prevent flooding at your home and your neighbors’.
Do this ONLY for small residential storm drains, NEVER for big ones with pipes wider than 12 inches or with catch basins bigger than your foot. In larger storm drains that look clogged there may be enough water still flowing to suck you in and below the surface where you can drown, which happened to a local boy when I was a kid. Just stay away from any large drain or culverts.
Always call 9-1-1 if you see a fallen tree or live wires. Never attempt to move any wires from the street or from your property by yourself, because they can kill you. Don’t assume that they’re just TV or data wires, because many electrical cables look just like cable TV or Internet cables.
Call PG&E at 800-743-5002 to report any power outages, and they have information on estimated repair times. You can also check out the PG&E website.
Be careful out there, my friends!