Wet & windy weather in Marin County

- Wednesday's storm, while not as powerful as previous ones, still packed some powerful winds and heavy rain in the North Bay.

Localized flooding was reported, along with multiple trees down, particularly in coastal communities of Marin and Sonoma Counties.
In San Rafael, overwhelmed drains flooded the Smith Ranch Road underpass at Highway 101, closing it for a time.

But even though creeks rose, they stayed within their banks.

"We are now drought free in California, whoo hooo!" exhorted Gayle Trimble as she dumped buckets of water at her F Street home in downtown San Rafael.

Trimble and other tenants found flooding in their garage and backyard, quickly rising from a few inches to about a foot, before the landlord arrived with a pump sump.

"The water just came off the back property and came pouring down, and it just started flooding more than what the sewer or anything could handle, it's a lot of water," Trimble explained.

A few inches of rain was expected in this first of three storms through the weekend.

High winds were getting equal attention, with the National Park Service taking the unusual step of closing Muir Woods.

That, after one big redwood fell, and there was a possibility others might endanger hikers.
Tourists, many from distant places, were disappointed to find gates closed.

"We planned our whole day around this, a long hike all the way to the beach, look at the ocean," lamented Wisconsin visitor Heather Pollocks.

"Don't show us when we jump the fence!"

Marin County Fire reported a flurry of calls around the noon hour, from traffic accidents, to trees down, and power outages.

"It's what we expected," Battalion Chief Bret McTigue told KTVU.

"It's not as bad as the last two storms but definitely something to look out for if you're on the roads this evening."

Fire crews were also out on the bay practicing water rescue Wednesday evening, training in the same tough conditions that necessitate their emergency calls.

"We still are very much prepared and watching the weather closely," noted McTigue, "and if we get an increase in call volume, then we can call people back to the stations and up staff as needed."

Rescuers are especially concerned about already storm-weakened trees needing almost no push to go over.

A fallen oak on Novato Boulevard, about two miles out of town, was expected to keep the road closed until about midnight.

"I have ten oaks and I've lost four in the last three years," homeowner Gordon Nordling told KTVU, surveying the remains of a sixty foot oak that fell on his driveway during the last storm.

He's grateful his son wasn't parked in his usual spot that day.

And he worries about storms to come.

"Now I'm worried another one might come down on my house, so I don't know about having it removed," he acknowledged. "I love my trees and I hate losing them."

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