Authorities in Marin County were advising residents of widespread street flooding in San Rafael, Mill Valley and other areas, warning people to avoid certain areas due to extreme flooding Sunday afternoon.
Many roadways were under 2 feet of water and were impassable, San Rafael police said in an alert about 2:15 p.m.
“The flooding is anticipated to worsen due to another high tide, in addition to the rainfall levels from the atmospheric river,” police said in an advisory.
San Rafael officials said the downtown flooding was focused in the area east of A Street. Road closures are in place around 2nd and 3rd street from A street to the freeway onramp.
Just after 3:45 p.m., the San Rafael Office of Emergency Services tweeted images of some residential flooding. Officials warned that much of downtown San Rafael was flooded and encouraged residents to stay home.
Since midnight, city officials said there were over 330 calls for fire or police assistance, four times the average call volume. San Rafael Public Works crews are also responding to calls, helping remove trees from roadways, and doing what they can to keep drainages clear.
Residents are advised to expect additional flooding, wind gusts, and potential power outages before the main storm system subsides around 9 p.m. Sunday. Rain will continue through the night and into the morning.
Several power outages are currently impacting some traffic signals and pump stations in San Rafael and throughout the North Bay and greater Bay Area. PG&E crews are responding to multiple reports of damage to power lines and poles.
Meanwhile the Marin County Sheriff tweeted about flooding in other areas and road closures.
A stretch of the Shoreline Highway in Olema was shut down from Sir Francis Drake/Hwy 1 to Sir Francis Drake/Hwy1 in Point Reyes due to flooding.
Mill Valley was also seeing flooding in the Sycamore Triangle neighborhood. Residents there were told to move their vehicles to higher ground at the Mill Valley Community Center.
The sheriff also tweeted at about 4 p.m. that flood sirens had been activated in Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax as the Corte Madera Creek crested its banks.
Residents were advised to void the area and seek higher ground if near creeks or streams.
Flood sirens went off in downtown San Anselmo Sunday afternoon after San Anselmo Creek reached flood stage around 1:30 p.m. Police ordered businesses to shut down and evacuate from the area.
The evacuation order was lifted Sunday evening once the creek receded. No damage was reported. But it gave people a big scare.
“It flooded this driveway (in front of my apartment complex) and the entrance to Sycamore,” said Rita Sedano, who lives next to San Anselmo Creek.
Flood waters got a few feet away from Rita Sedano’s first floor apartment.
“We were getting sandbags. The courtyard was flooding,” said Sedano.
Doctor Daniel Freeman prepared for the worst in his dental office when flood alarms went off in the afternoon.
“We move all of our vehicles out of the staff parking lot. And we bring in equipment in the event we have to lift all of our dental equipment off the floor,” said Dr. Freeman.
Residents suspected the heavy downpour and high tide caused San Anselmo Creek to rise so quickly.
“We came within three feet [of major flooding], which is cause for concern. But I think we were lucky and we dodged a bullet,” said Dr. Freeman.
City officials in Sausalito declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon due to widespread storm damage.
At 3:30 p.m., more than 800 PG&E customers were without power.
City officials also reported downed trees and power lines and said residents of the tent encampment at Marinship Park were displaced, prompting the city to ask Marin County to set up a shelter in Southern Marin.
The Sausalito Library, at 420 Litho Street, will remain open until 9 p.m. to shelter those without power.
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