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Sausalito Mudslide on February 14, 2019

Post Date:03/22/2019 4:30 PM

Latest Updates
3/22/19 at 4:30 p.m. 

  • The Department of Public Works is in the process of seeking and reviewing proposals from consulting firms to supervise the cleanup of the debris pile and debris field created by the mudslide on February 14, 2019. The scope of work includes the following:
    • Development of an engineering, safety, and security assessment
    • Coordination with Cal OES and FEMA
    • Preparation of a debris removal plan
    • Development of RFP process for debris removal
    • Management of debris removal
    • Management of utilities restoration (storm water, sewer, etc.)
    • Closeout and wrap up of grants from state and federal agencies
    Once a consulting firm has been secured, the City will have a better idea when debris removal can begin.
  • The City has discontinued the (415) 289-4151 dedicated phone line for questions about the mudslide. Questions should now be directed to the relevant department listed below:
    • For questions about filing a claim form, please contact City Clerk Serge Avila at (415) 289-4134
    • For requests to meet with City Manager Adam Politzer regarding mudslide concerns, please contact Serge Avila at (415) 289-4134
    • For questions about road closures, site stabilization, or debris cleanup, please contact the Department of Public Works at (415) 289-4106
    • For questions about red-tagged structures or building projects related to mudslide damage, please contact the Community Development Department at (415) 289-4128
  • On March 14, City staff lifted the red tag on the duplex at 402/404 Sausalito Boulevard, meaning that it is safe to reoccupy. The largest impediment to lifting the red tag had been the need for a structural analysis, which was not possible because the damaged parking deck from 406/408 Sausalito Boulevard was leaning against the building. On March 11, the parking deck was safely removed by City staff and a City contractor. The building subsequently passed a structural analysis conducted by a structural engineer hired by the property owner.
  • Crescent Avenue remains closed between 47 Crescent and Main Street due to the debris pile that is blocking the roadway. The City Engineer estimates that it may be 1-2 months before there is any significant progress in removing the debris pile. The City is currently developing plans for the removal of debris, in consultation with regional, state, and federal agencies. The removal must be done carefully and by qualified contractors in order to ensure that any hazardous materials in the debris field are separated and disposed of properly. Personal possessions found in the debris field will also be separated and retained in the hope that they can be returned to their owners. 
  • Sausalito Boulevard remains closed between 402 and 428 Sausalito Boulevard. The City Engineer has reaffirmed that he would like to see a week with no rain, followed by a 10-day forecast of dry weather, before reopening Sausalito Boulevard to through traffic.
  • City staff gave a mudslide update presentation to the City Council on Tuesday, March 12. A video recording of the presentation will be available soon. 
  • At its meeting on Tuesday, March 12, the Sausalito City Council voted to extend the proclamation of local emergency for the February 14 mudslide and other mudslides related to recent storm activity. State law requires that the Council review the need for continuing the local emergency at least once every 30 days. City staff consulted with the California and Marin County Offices of Emergency Services (Marin OES and Cal OES), and they recommended that the declaration of local emergency remain in effect until all the necessary cleanup activity resulting from the emergency has been completed.
  • Inquiries from the press may be directed to (415) 289-4123 or achambers@sausalito.gov.

Details on the Mudslide
Last update: 2/21/19 at 5:20 p.m.

  • The mudslide was first reported at 2:56 a.m. on Thursday, February 14.
  • The slide originated above Sausalito Boulevard on land belonging to the National Park Service.
  • The slide crossed the roadway, carrying with it the duplex at 406/408 Sausalito Boulevard.
  • The slide with its debris continued down the slope, destroying the house at 57 Crescent Avenue.
  • There was significant damage to the duplexes at 428/430, 412/414, and 402/404 Sausalito Boulevard, including loss of decks, entries, and car ports, and resulting in the loss of five cars.
  • The latest estimate is that 7 vehicles are buried in the debris.
  • The house at 63 Crescent Avenue was also damaged.
  • There were no fatalities from the mudslide.
  • A female that lived on the second floor of the duplex at 408 Sausalito Boulevard was trapped by the mudslide and structural collapse. Fire crews worked for approximately 20 minutes to extricate her. The woman was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and subsequently released.
  • Two adults, a baby, and a dog were rescued from 412 Sausalito Avenue (the lower unit of the duplex). Two adults and a cat were rescued from 414 Sausalito Avenue (the upper unit).
  • 50 homes were evacuated due to the threat posed by soil instability and multiple gas leaks.
  • A total of 80 public safety personnel operated at the scene for several hours to search and verify that there were no other individuals trapped.
  • Firefighters, police officers, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), a K-9 search team, and a drone were utilized to check and verify for any additional victims.
  • During the incident there were multiple reports of gas leaks throughout the area. All gas leaks were mitigated.
  • The National Weather Service reports that the Sausalito area received over 5 inches of rain in the 24 hours preceding the mudslide. 
  • Photos and maps have been posted at the bottom of this page. There is also an annotated photo gallery of the mudslide area as it appeared on the morning of Saturday, February 16.
  • The City Engineer estimates that the mudslide consisted of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 cubic yards of earth, the equivalent of 350 to 400 loads for a 10-wheel dump truck. The slide was likely fast moving due to the semi-liquid consistency of the mud in the debris field and its "river like" flow pattern.

Detours and Closures
Last update: 3/15/19 at 2:15 p.m.

  • The following road closures are currently in effect (see map below):
    • Sausalito Boulevard is closed between 402 and 428 Sausalito Boulevard
    • Crescent Avenue is closed between 47 Crescent Avenue and Main Street
    • For your safety, please avoid the closure areas
  • The City Engineer would like to see a week of dry weather and a 10-day prediction of dry weather before reopening Sausalito Boulevard to through traffic. A key indicator will be when there is no water seeping down from the slide area. 
  • The City Engineer estimates that it may be 1-2 months before there is any significant progress in removing the debris pile that is blocking Crescent Avenue.  The City is currently developing plans for the removal of debris, in consultation with regional, state, and federal agencies. The removal must be done carefully and by qualified contractors in order to ensure that any hazardous materials in the debris field are properly separated and disposed of. Personal possessions found in the debris field will also be separated and retained in the hope that they can be returned to their owners. 
  • Signage is in place on the affected roads, and the closures points on these roads are safely and well-marked with signs, barricades, and cones.

Aftermath and Cleanup
Last update: 3/22/19 at 4:30 p.m.

  • The following structures were destroyed by the mudslide:
    • 406/408 Sausalito Blvd. (duplex)
    • 57 Crescent Avenue
  • The following structures remain red-tagged, meaning that they are unsafe to reoccupy:
    • 412/414 Sausalito Blvd. (duplex)
  • On March 14, City staff lifted the red tag on the duplex at 402/404 Sausalito Boulevard, meaning that it is safe to reoccupy. The largest impediment to lifting the red tag had been the need for a structural analysis, which was not possible because the damaged parking deck from 406/408 Sausalito Boulevard was leaning against the building. On March 11, the parking deck was safely removed by City staff and a City contractor. The building subsequently passed a structural analysis conducted by a structural engineer hired by the property owner.  
  • On March 6, the red tag was lifted on the structure at 63 Crescent Avenue, meaning that it is now safe for residents to return to the upper and lower units. The removal of the red tag was accompanied by conditions related to long-term repairs.
  • The red-tag status of the duplex at 428/430 Sausalito Boulevard has been lifted thanks to the installation of a temporary sewer line, which completed a checklist of items from the City's building inspector. Power and gas services were reported to have been reconnected at the formerly red-tagged duplex at 428/430 Sausalito Boulevard as of Sunday, March 3.
  • K-rail cement barriers were installed on Tuesday, February 26 along the inner and outer perimeter of Sausalito Boulevard in the slide area. The work was performed by Maggiora & Ghilotti, Inc. and consists of 80 feet of k-rail on the upslope side and 180 feet on the downslope side. The barriers will help catch slide material on the upslope side and, when the roadway reopens, protect pedestrians and motorists on the downslope side. See also this photo of the barriers in place at Sausalito Boulevard.
  • City staff presented a report and status update on the mudslide at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 26, followed by questions from the City Council and public comment. A video recording of the presentation is available on the City website.
  • At the City Council meeting on February 26, the Council voted to waive permit and plan check fees associated with replacement-in-kind of structures damaged by the mudslide.
  • On Monday, February 25, at the direction of the National Park Service, Marin County Arborists removed three trees from the slide area above Sausalito Boulevard. The trees were either located in the debris field or in precarious positions on the margin of the slide. 
  • To aid stabilization efforts, National Park Service (NPS) engineering and geomorphology specialists conducted assessments in the slide area above Sausalito Boulevard on Monday, February 25. Said NPS Communications Director Charlie Strickfaden, "The interagency team, led by the City of Sausalito, and involving the NPS, California Department of Transportation, and other agencies, is working around the current storm system to continue mitigation efforts, and to monitor impacts of new rain events, as long as it is safe to do so. The safety of emergency workers and adjacent area residents will remain our top priority."
  • On Monday, February 25, the Sausalito Department of Public Works Public placed sandbags on Sausalito Boulevard to help redirect water runoff from the hillside down the roadway and away from the debris field below Sausalito Boulevard.
  • On Monday, February 25, Public Works also installed wattles in the area of the debris field on Crescent Avenue to divert any water runoff from the hillside into storm drains.
  • On Sunday, February 24, the National Park Service contracted Maggiora & Ghilotti, Inc. to cover the head scarp of the landslide in efforts to stabilize the area and redirect surface drainage flows. In addition, laser scanning of the slide and surrounding area was conducted by specialists from the US Geological Survey to map the topography of the land features.
  • The City continues to work closely with the owners of red-tagged structures to remove hazards that are preventing reoccupation by residents.
  • At the City Council meeting on February 26, the Council voted to waive permit and plan check fees associated with replacement-in-kind of structures damaged by the mudslide.
  • The Public Works Department has a supply of sand and sandbags available to help residents protect themselves from flooding. Sand is offered to both residents and merchants from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the City Corporation Yard at 530 Nevada Street. Sand and bags are also available at all hours across from the gym in the MLK parking lot. Access to the lot is from Coloma Street. If the Corporation Yard is closed and there is an emergency, please contact the Sausalito Police Department at (415) 289-4170 to gain access.
  • Crescent Avenue remains closed between 47 Crescent and Main Street due to the debris pile that is blocking the roadway. The City Engineer estimates that it may be 1-2 months before there is any significant progress in removing the debris pile. Personal possessions found in the debris field will also be separated and retained in the hope that they can be returned to their owners. 
  • The Department of Public Works is in the process of seeking and reviewing proposals from consulting firms to supervise the cleanup of the debris pile and debris field created by the mudslide on February 14, 2019. The scope of work includes the following:
    • Development of an engineering, safety, and security assessment
    • Coordination with Cal OES and FEMA
    • Preparation of a debris removal plan
    • Development of RFP process for debris removal
    • Management of debris removal
    • Management of utilities restoration (storm water, sewer, etc.)
    • Closeout and wrap up of grants from state and federal agencies
    Once a consulting firm has been secured, the City will have a better idea when debris removal can begin.
  • The City's current estimate of the value of private property damaged by the mudslide is $10 million.
  • Bay Cities News Service is reporting that, "The Marin County Assessor's Office has been informing residents affected by the Sausalito mudslide on Feb. 14 about the calamity tax relief process. Owners and residents of 12 properties in the Sausalito area were sent calamity claim forms on Feb. 20.... A form for relief and other information is available on  the Assessor's website via marincounty.org. or at (415) 473-7215." Read the article: Some Residents May Be Eligible For Disaster- Related Property Tax Relief. Visit the Marin County Assessor's webpage about Calamity Relief.
  • The City encourages all property owners and renters who suffered losses as a result of the mudslide to contact their insurance providers directly.
  • Individuals who suffered losses should submit claims to the City of Sausalito, the National Park Service, and Caltrans.
  • To file a claim against the City of Sausalito, fill out a Claim for Damages form and submit it to the City Clerk's Office in Sausalito City Hall at 420 Litho Street, Sausalito, California 94965.
  • To file a claim against the National Park Service, please fill out a Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death form and submit it to: Karen Glasgow, Acting Field Solicitor, Office of the Solicitor - S.F. Field Office, Department of the Interior, 333 Bush Street, Suite 775, San Francisco, CA 94104. Karen Glasgow can also be reached at (415) 296-3381 or karen.glasgow@sol.doi.gov.
  • To file a claim of over $10,000 against Caltrans, follow the instructions on the File Government Claim for Eligible Compensation on the website of the State of California Office of Risk and Insurance Management. To file a claim under $10,000, follow the instructions on the Filing a Damage Claim Against Caltrans page on the Caltrans website.
  • Individuals who suffered losses and are making claims are advised to document and report everything. Photos with date and time stamps are important.
  • Responsibility for the slide and damage caused by the slide is unclear at this time, and establishing causation may be a slow process.
  • City staff met with a Cal OES initial damage assessment team on the morning of Friday, February 22. Cal OES will make a determination of the amount of disaster assistance funds the City of Sausalito is eligible to receive to recover costs associated with the mudslide.
  • A State of Emergency covering the disaster area has been declared by the City of Sausalito, the County of Marin, and the State of California. Declaring an emergency facilitates access to state and federal disaster assistance funds.
  • At its meeting on Tuesday, March 12, the Sausalito City Council voted to extend the proclamation of local emergency for the February mudslide and other mudslides related to recent storm activity. State law requires that the Council review the need for continuing the local emergency at least once every 30 days. City staff consulted with the California and Marin County Offices of Emergency Services (Marin OES and Cal OES), and they recommended that the declaration of local emergency remain in effect until all the necessary cleanup activity resulting from the emergency has been completed.
  • The City has discontinued the (415) 289-4151 dedicated phone line for questions about the mudslide. Questions should now be directed to the relevant department listed below:
    • For questions about filing a claim form, please contact City Clerk Serge Avila at (415) 289-4134
    • For requests to meet with City Manager Adam Politzer regarding mudslide concerns, please contact Serge Avila at (415) 289-4134
    • For questions about road closures, site stabilization, or debris cleanup, please contact the Department of Public Works at (415) 289-4106
    • For questions about red-tagged structures or building projects related to mudslide damage, please contact the Community Development Department at (415) 289-4128

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Last update: 3/4/19 at 3:15 p.m. 

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Last update: 2/14/19 at 9:30 p.m.
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