Sonoma County

Looming El Niño Storms Renew Concerns About Flooding in Marin County

Concerns about flooding are skyrocketing as impending storms threaten already swollen waterways in the North Bay.

Officials are using gauges to monitor water levels in the biggest rivers and creeks in Marin County. One is in the San Anselmo Creek, which crests at 11-and-a-half feet and is right now at three feet.

In preparation for El Niño storms, Stayse Colteaux has added floodgates to Dogville, a store that she owns.

"The creek, the water will actually come up through my floor boards, but what this is really great for is keeping all the mud , the debris, the silt from the creek, which is the stuff that does most of the damage [from coming] into the store," she said.

Colteaux knows all too well how fast the water can rise during a severe storm. Ten years ago, her store was underwater, along with other neighboring businesses along San Anselmo Avenue.

"We've been prepared since the rain started," said Annie Ostergard, who owns Body Time. "We've had the sand bags out for a couple of weeks and we have flood gates that we put up just in case."

With the possibility of four to six inches dumping into already saturated areas, Marin County crews are bracing for the worst.

"When there's a short period of time, when there's a lot of water, it can rise pretty rapidly," Marin County Emergency Services Coordinator Ursula Hanks said.

Meanwhile in Sonoma County, crews are on call through the weekend. Officials say they are prepared for the onslaught of rain and are expecting the Russian River to rise to just below the 32-foot flood level.

Information about Marin County’s waterways can be found on the creeks and watersheds tab of the county website.

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