Officials considering closing Highway 37 after levee breach in Novato

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- In Novato, the local authorities are considering closing Highway 37 following a levee breach. Novato Creek was already at capacity when waters flooded a field to the south of the highway.

We got as close as we safely could to that levee where there is a big gap under old railroad tracks. Like so many levees, it is made of earthen materials which gave way.

This levee's purpose was to prevent the waters of the Novato creek from flooding the adjoining field south of Highway 37.

"You have a levee that guides the water, actually kinda straight and more west and what has happened is this water has moved away and it's now just flowing through the levee into this field behind us," explained Officer Andrew Barclay of the California Highway Patrol.

Water was also going over the top of a second levee near Pacheco Pond.

"If we have water coming across it doesn't take very much moving water, flowing water on the roadway to impact a car. We can have flooded vehicles, we can have vehicles swept away, so it's a safety concern at that point," added Officer Barclay.

In the meantime, The Marin County Flood Control District borrowed fan boats to get to a pump in that field hoping that it's working and that they are able to release some of this water.

Repairs to the breached levee will eventually be made by adding rocks and other materials to fill that hole, but only after it stops raining and the waters have receded.

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