'It sounded like a tornado was coming' neighbor says of Sausalito mudslide
SAUSALITO, Calif. (KTVU) - An unstable hillside, soaked with rain, caused a home in Sausalito on Thursday morning to slide about 75 yards into another home across the street, causing gas to leak, power lines to come down and debris the size of a football field to be strewn across the neighborhood.
"It sounded like a tornado was coming," neighbor Lisa Molbert said. "I just didn't realize the extent o the damage."
The damage was caused about 3 a.m. when a duplex on Sausalito Avenue slid into another emply home on Crescent Avenue about 3 a.m., said Marin County Fire Capt. Todd Overshiner. Firefighters were able to rescue a woman in the first residence that slid.
Neighbor Ted Maheo said he heard the woman calling for help and just then, the sheriff showed up with some other emergency vehicles to take her to the hospital.
Neighbors were evacuated about 4:30 a.m. because the sliding hillside caused a gas leak and power lines to come down. The gas leak worsened about 9:30 a.m., prompting police to ask everyone to leave except for emergency crews.
Fallout from the mudslide also also left a trail including a bathtub up the road and five cars buried under a pile of oozing earth.
"It happened 15 feet from where I lay my head down," neighbor Zack Garcia said. "It's going to be hard to go back there and try to go to sleep again."
On top of all of this, this is a place that has a history of this: In 1982, 2006 and and now. The problem is the rains just keep on coming. Three other duplexes and one stand alone residence has also been red tagged for now.
"If I had concerns here, outside of those homes that I mentioned were red tagged, we would have them red tagged and we don't. So, we're confident, right now, that those are the only homes that we need keep people out of," said Sausalito Public Works Department interim Director Dave Bracken.
Throughout the North Bay, the stormy weather also wreaked havoc, though nothing as severe as the Sausalito mudslide.
In nearby Novato, streets were fllooding causing some evacuations and major road closures near downtown and the Papermill Creek Court neighborhood. Power outages were also being reported in the downtown area. Check here for specific streets.
In Mill Valley, police closed Miller in both directions between Almonte and Tam High due to flooding and officials closed Tamalpais High because of the weather.
KTVU's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.