State of emergency in San Anselmo

January 31, 2008 8:15:44 AM PST
San Anselmo officials have now declared a state of emergency after a mudslide Sunday damaged one home and forced the closure of Scenic Avenue. More rain expected today could cause problems.

Residents were shocked to hear about the state of emergency. It sounds alarming, but according to the Marin Independent Journal, officials last night at the town meeting said they are very worried about the area. The section of Scenic Avenue will probably be closed for about two weeks.

An unoccupied house under construction has been threatened by a mudslide. Mud from the vacant lot above the home has come sliding down to the house and more could move when it rains.

According to the paper, the public works director told the council last night the earth is still moving beneath the road, he's worried about it. Some people, including some residents are concerned that anyone would do any construction in the hills during the rainy season.

"A lot of this stuff is predictable and so, I would hope that people have foresight into what can happen in a wet winter. There are certainly many lessons that have occurred in this town in previous years that people should know what can happen. If people weren't thinking about that, shame on them," said Ann Brown, San Anselmo resident.

Last night at the meeting, no one directly blamed anyone, but officials said there could be a liability issue. They didn't specify if the town would be at fault for permitting construction or if the property owners would be to blame.

The home on the vacant lot was demolished just a few weeks ago. The home just below it is under renovation. Right now, the focus is on securing this precarious situation. Repairs are scheduled to start on Monday, it could last about two weeks and it will cost about $200,000 dollars.

A small section of the road is closed and there is a way in and out on either end of the barricades. The residents shouldn't be too impacted by the shutdown.