National Weather Service

Marin County Volunteers Prepare to Help Firefighters During El Nino

Marin County firefighters know there is a strong possibility of flooding and mudslides once El Nino winter rains start filling up the county's very low reservoirs.

To be better prepared, organizers are gathering 150 volunteers equipped two-day radios to help firefighters keep up with helping people cut off by a power outage or flooded road.

"In a real deluge, they will be stretched thin," said Richard Dallman, who is helping organize the volunteers. "We'll be their eyes and ears in an emergency."

The radios cost $500 each, paid for by community fundraisers. Also, the call is out for more weather watchers to measure rainfall daily at their home.

"In Marin, you can get a huge spread from one mile to another," said Hannah Lee, a Marin Flood Control engineer. "So we need people on the ground to verify what they're seeing."

Fliers for volunteers are being circulated beyond the Bay Area. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network has recruited more than 1,300 volunteers to help gather and share vital weather information for first responders.

"If you are getting a significant rainfall, we will forward that to the National Weather Service in Monterey, which may issue a weather alert or flood warning," said Debbie Clarkson, a volunteer coordinator.

For more information on volunteering, visit the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network's website.

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