Ross Valley Fire News
Winter Storm: Flash Flood and High Wind Warning
SEVERE WEATHER ADVISORY: The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning and High Wind Warning for Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds developing late Wednesday, continuing through Friday. North Bay rainfall could exceed 5 inches on the windward side of the coast range, with 3-5 inches of rain locally. Heavy rain should be expected Thursday night as well. Possible impacts include flooding, fallen limbs and trees, power lines down, mudslides, and traffic impacts.
Ross Valley Fire Depatment strongly encourages businesses and residents to prepare for the upcoming storm.
The following lists potential issues and resources available to help you prepare for the many issues this storm may present. Flooding – If your home or business is in a low-lying area with a history of flooding, please take the time now to prepare for the possibility of flooding:
- Learn more about sandbags, flood maps, and other preparations here and here.
- Creek Levels and Local Weather
- Ross Valley Sandbag Locations
Sand Bag Locations
- San Anselmo: Sunny Hills Drive, in the parking lot adjacent to the tennis courts (sand and bags). This location is directly across Sunny Hills Drive from Swirl, the yogurt shop in the Red Hill Shopping Center.
- Ross: Entrance to Natalie Coffin Green Park at the end of Lagunitas Rd (sand and bags). Note that the Town of Ross Corporation Yard no longer has sand and sand bags.
- Fairfax: Baseball field parking lot on Elsie St between Pavilion and the Ball Field (sand only)
- Kentfield: College of Marin parking lot #15 located off Kent Avenue at Hillside Avenue, across from the Science Building.
Please bring your own shovel!
Know Your Flood Hazard:
Protect People and Property:
- Flood Protection Tips
- Winter Preparedness Tips
- Sand Bag Information
- Real-Time Weather and Creek Depth
- Flood Gate Design
Learn More About Flood Control:
- San Anselmo Flood Committee
- Marin County Public Works Flood Control District
- Letter to Morningside neighbors regarding flood mitigation planning
- Please do not leave piles of leaves in the roadway. Please rake them up and place them in your green bin for disposal. Leaves left in the street will block storm drains and may lead to flooding.
- More information on high tides and flooding can be found here.
- Have flashlights and battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages. Tune in to KQED 88.5 FM, KCBS 740 AM or KGO 810 AM.
- Fire Officials recommend that residents do not use candles because of the risk of fire. Use battery-powered light sources.
- Anticipate power outages and bookmark PG&E’s power outage page.
Downed Trees and Limbs:
- If the tree is on private property or has fallen onto private property contact the property owner.
- If the tree is touching electrical wires contact PG&E at 800-743-500 or non-emergency dispatch at 415-442-4526.
- If the tree or limb is causing an immediate danger, call 911 from any land or mobile phone.
- If the tree or limb is blocking a public right of way or roadway, contact your local Department of Public Works (Mill Valley, Sausalito, Marin County).
Drive with Caution
- When driving in the rain, use extra caution and always have your headlights on. Remember, if you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights.
- Please obey the speed limits and follow other traffic at a safe distance.
- Do not drive through standing water. Only 6 inches of water can be enough to stall your car and cause irreparable damage to the engine.
- Please anticipate road closures and traffic back-ups due to flooding, downed trees or landslides. Check traffic conditions before you hit the road.
If you live in a landslide prone area consider hiring a geologist that specializes in slide risk assessment to complete a ground study of your property. Learn to recognize potential landslide warning signs:
- Changes occur in your landscape such as patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes
- Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations
- Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope
- New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations
- Fences, retaining walls, utility poles and trees tilt or move
- Collapsed pavement, mud or fallen rock along roadways
How can you minimize your landslide risks?
- Regularly inspect your property for land movement, retaining wall failures and blocked drainage routes
- Meet with your neighbors to discuss and repair mutual drainage problems
- Prepare an escape route in case you need to evacuate your home because of a slide above or below you
If you discover any earth movement or landslide, immediately leave the area and notify neighbors and emergency services by dialing 911.
Create/Check Your Emergency Kit
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Visity ready.gov for resources on building an emergency kit.
How quickly your company can get back to business after an emergency often depends on planning done today. Ross Valley Fire Department encourages all business owners to start planning now to improve the likelihood that your company will survive and recover.
- Develop a continuity of operations plan. Carefully assess how your company functions to determine which staff materials, procedures and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating.
- Review emergency communications with staff. Set up a telephone calling tree or email alert to communicate with employees, designate an out-of-town phone number for employees to call, give employees wallet-cards with important phone numbers.
- Review how to decide to stay or go. Have an Evacuation Plan and a Shelter-In-Place Plan.
In an emergency, communication is crucial to the safety of all residents and businesses. Please bookmark or sign up for the communications methods listed below:
- We will provide updates about the storm as needed.
- Emergency officials use the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) to deliver incident-specific information or potentially life-saving instruction to the precise geographic area(s) affected. Sign up for TENS emergency alerts.
- Sign up for Nextdoor- a private, neighborhood-based social network.
When to call 911
- In an emergency, call 911 immediately from any wired or wireless phone. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance such as a fire, a car crash (especially if someone is injured), or a medical emergency where a person is requiring immediate medical attention.
- If you hear the Town's Emergency Siren, do not call 911. Instead, look for immediate danger, move to high ground if you are in a flood zone, and tune in to KQED 88.5 FM, KCBS 740 AM or KGO 810 AM and local TV stations for further information.