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Storm Preparedness
Winter Storms and Flooding Preparedness

In recent history, winter storms have caused significant damage throughout Marin County, including Belvedere. Flooding preparedness before such weather systems occur is essential to maintaining the safety of residents and minimizing damage.

Types of Flooding
Flooding Beach Road
  • Waterways
    Floods are generally classed as either slow-rise or flash floods. Slow-rise floods may be preceded by limited warning time. Evacuation, sandbagging and other preventative measures for a slow-rise flood may lessen the flood-related damage. Conversely, flash floods are difficult to prepare for due to the extremely short warning time. Flash flood warnings usually require immediate action within the hour. Flood waters can cause road closures and sweep away objects and people. Particular attention should be paid in Belvedere to drainage areas along roadways, debris and waterflow along San Rafael Avenue, and water over topping the San Rafael and Beach Road levees.
  • Debris Flow
    In Marin County, flash flooding is not as critical a threat as is debris flow, including landslides caused by excessive rainfall that can cause serious damage. This is potentially of particular concern in Belvedere when hillsides get oversaturated.
  • Coastal Flooding
    Winter storms can generate heavy wave action along the coastal areas which combined with high tides, can initiate flooding along the ocean and bay coastlines. In Belvedere, the San Rafael Avenue and Beach Road levees attempt to mitigate the effects of coastal flooding.
  • High Tides
    High astronomical tides over seven feet are known to occur during winter storm weather causing flooding along the coast and impacting lands adjacent to bay and river fronts.

Local Efforts at Storm Preparedness
Storm PreparationIn the months before the rainy season and prior to major storm events, the Public Works Department works diligently to keep Belvedere residents safe. During the leaf drop season and following wind events, the debris on the ground causes problems by collecting on storm drain inlets and causing blockages. To prevent flooding, the Public Works crew inspects all storm drains and cleans inlet grates to prepare the system to accept water. Prior to and during rain events, the Public Works crew patrols the drainage system to ensure leaf accumulations are removed before a flooding problem occurs. Throughout the rainy season in addition to the scheduled sweeping on Thursdays, the street sweeper targets specific areas around town in an effort to collect leaf material that could possibly wash onto the grates and into storm drains causing a flooding situation in off hours. Additionally, staff monitors “hot spots” that require more frequent maintenance during these pea
k rain events to keep from flooding due to the undersized nature of the drainage system. Sand bag inventories are always inspected and kept full in case of an emergency. Trucks and equipment (tractor, chainsaws, generators and pumps) are kept fueled and ready in case of an afterhour’s emergency call-out response by Public Works.

Sandbag StationThe following is a list of items that the department frequently reviews prior to expected inclement weather:
  • Storm drain inlets - Clean and clear, monitored during working hours.
  • Sand Bag stations - Inspected and at capacity. (Maybridge, West Shore Road, Community Road). Click here for a map of sandbag locations in Belvedere.
  • Back up supply of sand bags at Corp Yard - prepared
  • Chainsaws and equipment - fueled and prepared
  • Emergency generators and pumps - inspected and prepared
  • Vehicles fuel - Tanks will be filled and ready to respond
  • Additional Fuel storage

Other Resources

National Weather Service - San Francisco Bay Area Office
Marin County Real-Time Rainfall, Creek Data, & Weather Stations
Sand and Sandbag Locations in Marin
FEMA Winter Storm Preparation

Contact City Hall
450 San Rafael Ave.
Belvedere, CA 94920-2336
Ph: 1-415-435-3838