NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) --The first of several El Nino storms this week is now hitting the Bay Area. The storm is expected to deliver a sustained soaking of the region Tuesday through Thursday, with a break on Friday.
Quite a few business owners in Mill Valley have heeded calls to be prepared and several have sand bags already set up. Several other businesses were packed and ready to be put in place. "Preparation is key. You don't want to be doing this when the rain comes. You really need to be doing it before, so we've seen a lot of people that are doing it just in case," said San Rafael Fire Department Batt. Chief Jeff Rowan.
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At San Rafael Fire Station 2, residents can help themselves to sand and sand bags. Rowan says they haven't had to deal with any major floods so far this season. But they're ready just in case.
Just outside Novato, the storm has already caused problems. Alexander plowed through a fence and ended up in a cow pasture along Novato Boulevard. His Nissan 300 ZX hydroplaned as he took the curve on an unfamiliar road. "When you're going down a road that you're not really familiar with, you should really stay comfortable and don't go outside your comfort level really," he said.
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There were relatively few accidents during the rush hour traffic in the North Bay, but it's just the beginning of a series of storms lined up over the Pacific Ocean. It's the first real sign of El Nino conditions expected to bring a lot of rain over the week. "We're a little bit tense with this incoming storm," arborist Zachary Wilder said.
Wilder said a homeowner tried to get two 60-foot drought stressed trees cut down before they collapsed on her home in Petaluma. "Tree guys are really busy right now. We've got drought stressed trees, the El Nino scare. Tree guys just can't answer all the calls right now, which is actually sad because things need to be taken care of," Wilder said.
Local authorities are warning residents to prepare for the coming storms. The Sausalito Police Department even issued an advisory about forecasted strong winds and rain over the next several days. They're asking residents to get ready for extended commutes and other weather related issues.
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