Mandatory evacuations as San Anselmo Creek peaks

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SAN ANSELMO (BCN) Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in San Anselmo this evening due to flooding, according to the Central Marin Police Authority.

The San Anselmo Creek peaked at 13.6 feet at 7 p.m., according to officials. 

Police posted a statement online at 6:39 p.m. indicating that the creek was at 12 feet, and that flooding was expected to occur when the creek exceeded 13 feet.

Area residents have been advised to listen for the flood horn, which blasts five times, pause, blast five times, pause then blast five more times.

"This means that the creek is likely to exceed its banks," police said. "If you hear the flood horn and you live in an area that floods, you should immediately get to a second story or higher ground."

Residents were asked not to call 911 unless there's an emergency to avoid overwhelming dispatchers. They were also advised not to go downtown to see the creek levels.

"Flood waters are fast moving and very dangerous," police said.

Marin County officials closely watched the creek levels Tuesday afternoon. Bret McTigue with the Marin County Fire Department said the water level was very close to reaching the critical flood stage.

Ross Valley Fire Department has a live camera and water level updates every 15 minutes on its website

"We are concerned because once it reaches that point it can move around into the low lying area and that's where you're going to see sandbags protecting residences," he said.

Business owners on San Anselmo Avenue placed sandbags outside of their stores and closed early on Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of possible flooding.

Josephine Nguyen was one of those owners. She has owned Harmony Beauty Bar for the past two years.

"It's just scary because this is my first time here being in San Anselmo so it's new," she said. "I didn't know it could be this serious."

Further details, including when the evacuations were ordered and which streets or neighborhoods they affect, were not immediately available.