bay area storm

San Rafael Neighborhood on Edge After House ‘Fell and Broke' During Mudslide

A mudslide devastated a San Rafael family by tearing their home apart on Tuesday morning, officials said.

Firefighters responded to Mountain View Avenue around 8 a.m. when a resident called about a tree that appeared ready to fall, San Rafael Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Rowan said.

Four people, including two children, lived in the two-story home but only two were home at the time, Rowan said. No one was injured.

For homeowner John Futscher, Tuesday started as a normal day, but things took a turn for the worse when he returned from dropping his daughter off at school.

Fire officials instructed him to get his wife and son out of the house and then he "saw it coming through the kitchen window."

His son Marcos said that part of their home "fell and broke."

Futscher, grateful to have been able to evacuate his family in time, said he was surprised because there is a "good amount of vegetation" and pumps behind their house. So mudslides were never a real concern — until Tuesday.

The San Rafael neighborhood was on edge Tuesday as two other houses on Mountain View Avenue were red-tagged as uninhabitable. One also was damaged by the slide and the other had three feet of mud behind it, Rowan said.

Elsewhere in the North Bay, Devyn Wallace and other drivers had to navigate around a slide in Napa. Redwood Road at Browns Valley was closed. Crews weren't working to clear the mountain of mud Tuesday night because it was too wet.

"I've been keeping track, making sure I can come to work," Wallace said.

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