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San Rafael Police Department

San Rafael Police Department

For Immediate Release

Author: Sergeant Justin Graham
Date: January 05, 2023 5:30 AM

Weather Update - Get Ready and Be Prepared

UPDATED INFORMATION AS OF Wednesday, 01/05/2023 at 5:30AM:

The National Weather Service for the San Francisco Bay Area has issued the following:

Flood Watch in effect until January 5, at 4:00 PM.

Coastal Flood Warning in effect from January 5, at 10:29 AM until January 5, at 4:00 PM

San Rafael, CA - With the currently issued weather forecast for the SF Bay Area and California, the San Rafael Police Department and our partnering agencies want to ensure that you have the latest information and resources so that we can all get ready and be prepared.  Now is the time to act and not wait until it's too late.  While there is a lot of information provided below, please take the time to review it.

On Saturday, January 1, 2023, the National Weather Service for the San Francisco Bay Area issued the following "Flood Potential Outlook": 

"...A weak weather system on Monday will bring light rain to the region with amounts generally 0.25-0.50 though some 1-inch totals are possible in the hills. No flooding rains with this system but it will keep soils saturated. An atmospheric river, similar in strength or stronger than the New Year's Eve storm will spread heavy rain across the region as early as Wednesday through Thursday. Early forecasts show widespread 2-4 inch rainfall totals in the lower elevations with 3-6 inches in the hills while the wettest peaks of the North Bay, Mt Tamalpais, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Santa Lucia Range could see 8-10 inch rain amounts with this atmospheric river.  Given the saturated soils and recent rains, we can expect rapid responses on smaller creeks with quick rises on the mainstem rivers Wednesday through Friday.  This system will result in an increased risk of mudslides and debris flows across the region and especially over recent wildfire burn areas..."

You can do the following to be prepared:

When you hear on the radio or TV that there is a “Flood Watch” or a “Flood Warning" it’s already too late to begin preparing for the high water. Please prepare for the possibility of flooding ahead of time. Following are some things to do now as well as resources and links to helpful information:

  • It is very important that residents prepare their property for storms, heavy rain, wind, and the flooding that often comes with it.  Rake your leaves and place them into your green bin (keep out of gutters and storm drains).
  • Sign up to receive emergency calls, texts, and/or email notification alerts using AlertMarin, the Marin County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services emergency notification system.
  • To check where to purchase sandbags in your area, please see Sandbags below.
  • To obtain further information on training and education to keep you and your family safe, warm, and fed in the event of a flood please visit the Ready Marin website at https://readymarin.org/.
  • Buy an NWS radio (see below for a recommendation) to be ready for weather updates
  • Put a flashlight, radio, and spare batteries in an easy place to find if the power goes out
  • Remove hazardous materials (paints/chemicals, etc.) from flood-prone areas such as garages and sheds

Review the following safety information for when flooding occurs:

  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather-related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, drainage ditches, canyons, washes, etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don't Drown
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways - you do not know the condition of the road under the water. Turn Around Don't Drown
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.  Move to higher ground if heavy rain or rising water occurs.  Creeks and streams can rise very rapidly during heavy rainfall.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • If you must evacuate your home, secure your home and if possible, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!

To receive updates, notifications, and emergency alerts, please consider subscribing to the following:

ALERT MARIN: Click Here or go to https://emergency.marincounty.org/

NIXLE NOTIFICATIONS: Simply text any zip code to 888777 and receive real-time alerts and advisories directly from your local police department and other local agencies.  Click Here for in-depth instructions.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - SF BAY AREA: Please view the latest NWS forecast for the most up-to-the-date information.

MARIN COUNTY'S SEVERE WEATHER SHELTER CRITERIA: Click Here or go to: https://www.marinhhs.org/emergency-information

The San Rafael Police Department and our partnering agencies stand ready with our community.

# # #

Posted: January 02, 2023 8:53 PST by Sergeant Justin Graham

Updated: January 05, 2023 10:55 PST by Justin Graham


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