Rain causes crumbling hillside in Santa Rosa

Becca Acosta lives right in the path of a crumbling hillside in Santa Rosa. 

She said the soil started moving Friday night during the last big storm. Acosta heard a loud crack and realized the hill was sliding.

"I just happened to look and there was al little crack and I was like, oh no that’s not a good sign," said Acosta. "All night we could kind of hear cracking. It was the fence continuing to break because the hillside was continuing to shift."

By Sunday, a landslide knocked down the fence and pushed mud against a neighbor’s house. Two homes were red-tagged. One home was yellow-tagged.

Paul Lowenthal, the Santa Rosa fire marshal, said this hillside, which is East of Cooper Drive, first started having issues in January during another series of storms. 

The hillside was tarped and sandbagged. Geotechnical engineers were brought in. But the relentless rain pushed saturation levels to the limit. "In the past couple days the mud has continued to migrate off the hill and is up against at least one of the homes right now," said Lowenthal.

Another atmospheric river is on the way, and is expected to bring widespread rain and strong winds.

 "What we expect with the next round Monday and Tuesday is rapid rises of creeks and streams," said Lowenthal. "What that does is it starts backing up our storm drain systems. So it’s not going to be uncommon to see streets again flooded."

At Marin Ace Hardware in San Rafael, items like sump pumps and sand bags were the big sellers.

"They are coming in wanting sandbags, tarps, and especially tarps for roofs," said employee Larry Owens.

Owens said ACE has been stocking up by bringing in supplies three times a week. 

While he’s happy to help customers get through the storm, Owens said he’s had enough of this weather. 

"I’m ready for sun. That’s why I moved to California 35 years ago for the sun," said Owens.