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Rain Causes Bridgeway Mudslide

Post Date:01/12/2018 2:15 PM
The heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday triggered a small mudslide on Bridgeway between Ebbtide Avenue and Bridge Boulevard at the north end of Sausalito. The slide occurred overnight and consisted of approximately six cubic yards of debris, which partially obstructed the sidewalk on the west side of Bridgeway. Public Works crews were able to clear the site of all debris by noon on Wednesday.

Although minor in severity, this first mudslide of the rainy season provides an opportunity to remind Sausalito residents to be prepared for mudslides when the ground is saturated.

A mudslide typically occurs in Sausalito when a body of earth, rock and/or mud breaks loose from a hillside where a shallow, weathered soil layer overlies more competent, unweathered rock. The dislodged debris is then carried downhill by the force of gravity. Rainy weather is the most common cause of mudslides. When a series of heavy winter storms hits and there is no time for the soil to drain, the probability of a mudslide increases.

Mudslides can be dangerous. People and property can be trapped, and mudslides can undermine roads or block the roadway. Mudslides can damage underground infrastructure like gas lines, water lines, sewer lines, and communication lines.

How to prepare yourself in advance:
  • Know when to look for the signs. During heavy rains and earthquakes, hillsides are at a higher risk of failing. Mudslides often start slowly before they break free. Fresh cracks in the road or tilting trees can be a sign of a failing slope in progress, as can bulging ground at the base of a slope.
  • Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to mudslides.
  • If you are in an area susceptible to mudslides and debris flows, consider leaving if it is safe to do so.
  • Have an evacuation route and plan. Mudslides can cut off highways and roads, so it is a good idea to have multiple evacuation routes.
What to do if you suspect imminent danger of a mudslide:
  • Contact Southern Marin Fire, the Sausalito Police, or the Public Works Department. Local officials are the best persons to assess potential danger.
  • Inform affected neighbors. Your neighbors may not be aware of potential hazards. Advising them of a potential threat may help save lives.
  • Evacuate. Getting out of the path of a slide is your best protection. Curl into a tight ball and protect your head if escape is not possible.
What to do if a mudslide occurs:
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides.
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.
  • Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations.
  • Help neighbors who may require special assistance.
  • Look for and report broken utility lines and damaged roadways to appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury.


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