Powerful Storms Heading Our Way - Is Your Home Ready?

It's a good time to check your gutters and prepare for possible power outages. The season's biggest storm system so far is expected to hit the Bay Area with high winds and up to 8 inches of rain in the North Bay.


A series of powerful rainstorms is expected to hit the Bay Area beginning Wednesday morning, dumping up to 8 inches of rain on parts of the region, a National Weather Service forecaster said Monday.

The storms will start around the time of the morning commute on Wednesday and continue through the weekend, bringing winds of 40 to 50 mph and 1 to 3 inches of rain to most parts of the Bay Area, forecaster Steve Anderson said.

"This is certainly the biggest storm of the season so far," Anderson said. "Typically, we get our big rain events in December and January."

The rainfall will be most intense here in the North Bay, where 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in low lands and as many at 8 inches in the hills, Anderson said.         

"It's mostly going to be a North Bay event, the heaviest rainfall," Anderson said.

Smaller creeks in the North Bay are likely to fill to bank level, he said.

Streets throughout the Bay Area will be soaked, and fallen leaves from trees are expected to clog storm drains, so some roads and intersections will see some flooding and the usual traffic delays, Anderson said.

Bay Area residents should also get ready for possible downed trees and power outages.

"If you have an alarm clock that's electric, make sure you have a backup," Anderson said.

Fifteen- to 18-foot waves are expected along the coast during the stormy weather, he said.

Here’s some tips from the Town of San Anselmo website on how to prepare your home for any storm. 


  • Clear the drains around your home; including roof gutters, drain inlets, downspouts, pipes and drainage ditches
  • Get furnaces and chimneys inspected once a year and cleaned or repaired if needed
  • Rake up and bag leaves often and especially before storms. Leaves can clog the storm drains and cause water to back up which can cause local flooding
  • Keep emergency supplies at work, at home and in your car, including:
    • First aid kit and essential medications
    • Cash (ATM’s might not be working)
    • Drinking water for at least 3 days per person
    • Keep your car fueled
    • Sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber and other emergency building materials handy
    • Portable radio, flashlights and extra batteries
    •  Non perishable food: Ready to eat; canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, staples (salt, pepper, etc.), high-energy foods, any special food for family members (i.e. baby formula), comfort foods


Sand and bags are available for San Anselmo residents on Sunny Hills Drive in the parking lot adjacent to the tennis courts. (Right across the street from Swirl.) Residents should bring their own shovels to fill the bags.

On Monday, Fairfax town officials put two truck loads of sand for residents to use at the Pavilion. The town provides shovels and bags, but residents need to fill their own sandbags. 

Wet weather can easily overwhelm the Ross Valley Sanitary District’s dilapidated sewer system, which has had several recent spills. Do your part by not flushing disposable diapers, fats, oils, grease, personal wipes and other hygienic items down your toilet. The Ross Valley Sanitary District sewage spill reporting emergency line is (415) 259-2949.

Also, when preparing for any kind of disaster it’s important to make sure you know how to turn off gas at your meter.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report. 


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Check out what else is on San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch:

  • Six Things to Know About Flooding in Ross Valley
  • One Injured in Suspected DUI Crash on Highway 101

Jessica Mullins (Editor) November 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM
For any Ross readers we have: Sand and bags are available at Natalie Coffin Greene Park in Ross. There are no shovels at that location, so residents must bring their own.


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