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The original item was published from 10/24/2021 7:07:00 PM to 10/24/2021 7:07:36 PM.

News Flash

Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: October 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Storm Update - High Winds, Flooding and Significant Rainfall

Three Public Works workers work to open a clogged storm drainOctober 24, 2021 - Updated 7:00 pm



Forecasters predict that our area will experience heavy rain into the evening, with some urban and small stream flooding likely due to the rain rates and likely clogging of storm drains. In addition to heavy rain, strong southerly winds will continue for much of today into this evening. Rain turns to showers overnight into early Monday. Large northwest swells arrive Monday with dangerous waves. A chance of North Bay light rain Tuesday otherwise warming and drying trend. Latest Forecast.

Current Impacts

There are many reports of trees and wires down along with localized flooding. Marin County Sheriff has sent the following message (2:40 pm): "Due to the ongoing storm impacting Marin County, we are asking everyone to please avoid all unnecessary travel until the storm has passed. We are continuing to respond to numerous crashes and other emergency calls, many involving stranded motorists. Please stay home, stay safe, and postpone what you can until tomorrow."A road is closed due to flooding and a Mill Valley Police Car is blocking roadway.

  • Community Center Opened as Warming Center - There are no evacuations at this time. The Mill Valley Community Center has been opened as a warming center for anyone who feels they need to leave their home due to rising water levels. If you must leave your home, Miller Avenue continues to be impacted so please use E. Blithedale Avenue.  
  • Flooding & Shelter in Place - The Sycamore Triangle area is experiencing flooding in low-lying areas. Residents in flood prone areas are advised to move their vehicles to higher ground at the Mill Valley Community Center. Please shelter in place.
  • Power Outages - PG&E is reporting multiple power outages impacting our area.
  • Road Closures - 
    • Miller Avenue is closed due to local flooding around Montford, Camino Alto and between Camino Alto and Almonte. Use East Blithedale if travel is necessary.
    • Panoramic Hwy between 4-corners intersection and Throckmorton Fire Station is closed due to a downed tree & power lines. PG&E is handling the situation due to power lines. Road is expected to reopen by end of today. Please use alternate routes and avoid the area.

Advisories in Effect

Click the images to learn more.

An infographic shows an area of the North Bay that is under a Flood AdvisoryAn infographic warns of high winds around the Bay Area in upcoming daysAn infographic warns of high surf and rip currents predicted for coastal areas

Special Advisory to Residents in Low-Lying Areas

Mill Valley has had a history of experiencing localized flooding in low-lying areas. If you live in an area that has a history of flooding, it is highly recommended that you be proactive now and stay alert.  

  • Monitor the local creek and tide levels. 
  • Consider moving personal belongings to higher ground, including vehicles.
  • Avoid walking in flood waters as this could pose a threat of injury or death.  
  • If present, avoid down power lines.  
  • If conditions worsen, the Fire Department recommends you shelter in place.


  • Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could become airborne and cause damage. 
  • Clean out gutters, storm drains, etc. (keeping drains clear of trash, leaves and branches) so rainwaters can easily flow, reducing possible flooding and ponding.
  • Commuters who travel in areas with a history of flooding are advised to monitor high tides. Check traffic conditions prior to your trip to anticipate congestion. Road closures are often posted by the Mill Valley Police Department on Twitter.
  • Please be advised to keep out of creeks and waterways during the storm.
  • Sign up for alerts and warnings.

Power Outages/Downed Power Lines

Residents are advised of possible downed trees and power lines. Report downed power lines by calling 9-1-1 and PGE at 1-800-743-5002. Stay away from the downed powerlines and assume they are energized and dangerous. 

  • Check to make sure you have batteries, fully charged back-up battery packs for your devices, and a battery powered radio.
  • Recharge your laptop computer, cell phone, and other mobile devices as a precaution against a power outage.
  • Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member.
  • Freeze water bottles or bags of water for food storage if the power goes out.
  • Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Make sure you can open your garage door if the power goes out.

If the power goes out:

If you see a downed power line call 911 immediately. For more safety information about downed power lines visit PG&E's website here.

Traffic & Road Closures

Flooding or fallen trees may cause traffic back-ups and road closures. Check our Road Closures and Traffic page for updates.

Drive with Caution: 

  • When driving in the rain, use extra caution and always have your headlights on. Remember, if you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights.
  • Please obey the speed limits and follow other traffic at a safe distance.
  • If traffic signals are out or flashing red, come to a full stop at every intersection, and proceed as you would at a four-way stop.

Stock up on Sandbags

We urge residents to take preparedness measures by seeking sand and sandbags should they need them. Watch a video on how to fill and place sandbags.

Sand and bags can be purchased at local hardware stores. Sand and sandbags may also be located at the following locations:*

*These locations have limited stockpiles of sand and sandbags for emergency use during the rainy season. To use these stockpiles, you must supply your own labor, shovels and support.

Please note that the safety of Mill Valley citizens is the first priority of City work crews, and that replenishing the sand pile and bags may become a lower priority during a storm event. If you have questions or comments please call Department of Public Works at 388-4033 or the Fire Department at 389-4130. 


Please also be aware that precipitation can increase the potential for mudslides on steeper terrain. If you see significant runoff on a slope that is not typically used for drainage, it could be due to a blockage or diversion of water from its regular course somewhere upstream. Please report these instances to Public Works at (415) 384-4800. If you feel that the situation constitutes an emergency, please call 9-1-1.


High tides, combined with high run-off sometimes leads to flooding on lower Miller Avenue and Camino Alto, as well as the Redwood Hwy Frontage Road. Please click here for High Tide information.

How to stay informed during winter storms? 

Sign up for alerts and warnings. We will post regular updates to the website.

Businesses Preparation Resources

Preparing your business is important - visit the Ready Marin "Ready Business Program" website to learn more.

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