San Anselmo Creek

Marin IJ Editorial: Marin dodges storm bullet — again POSTED: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 – 11:35 a.m. UPDATED: A DAY AGO
San Anselmo officials evacuated downtown San Anselmo after Corte Madera Creek reached 12 feet Tuesday evening. (Robert Tong/Marin Independent Journal) Marin dodged a bullet, yet again. The heavy storms that slammed into the county filled creeks to the brim, but few crested.
It could have been a replay of 1955, 1982 or 2005, but luckily the rains lightened and tides lowered at just the right time to stave off widespread flooding and damage.
There was no replay of the expansive personal loss, costly property damage or life-threatening incidents that have occurred in the past, but it was too close; too close not to take stock of what more can be done to provide greater protection.
The private and public damage from the 2005 storm was estimated at $100 million.
There’s been a lot of debate about what to do.
In the Ross Valley, the debate has been going on for decades, but slow progress in coming up with measures that will offer greater protection leaves many Ross Valley residents vulnerable.
Supervisor Katie Rice says progress is being made, specifically in preparation for raising several bridges in San Anselmo, where the spans have impeded the flow of the creek and caused flooding in neighborhoods. She also says progress continues on Ross Valley’s plans to create a series of emergency stormwater ponds that could hold back water from flowing into already inundated creeks.
That plan, however, has faced some political setbacks, among them San Anselmo voters’ rejection of plans to renovate Memorial Park so it could be used as a detention pond.
There are plenty of other trouble spots across the county, in Novato, Mill Valley and Tiburon, for instance.
Possible flood-control improvements have been studied and discussed, but obviously more needs to be done.
For almost a decade, Ross Valley residents, for instance, have been paying a flood protection tax, but most of the progress has been bureaucratic in generating needed and required reports, studies and designs and obtaining grants.
Advances have been made countywide to improve public warnings, take preventive action at known trouble spots and bolster emergency response.
But the close call we just had should be another warning that we need to make constructive progress toward coming up with and implementing greater protection. Without such measures, these areas are sitting ducks, waiting for the next storm, one that might not pull its punch at the last minute as did recent deluges.
David N Swaim Owner/Realtor -107078 Town of San Anselmo Planning Commissioner 415 710 5504 phone/text 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960

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