Nearly 20 residents displaced after mudslide hits Fairfax apartment building

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Saturday, January 14, 2023
Nearly 20 residents displaced after mudslide hits NB apartments
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Nearly 20 residents have been displaced after a mudslide flowed into the back of an apartment building in Fairfax Friday morning.

FAIRFAX, Calif. (KGO) -- Nearly 20 residents have been displaced after a mudslide flowed into the back of an apartment building in Fairfax Friday morning.

Around 10 a.m., authorities responded to Olema Road and when they arrived they confirmed a debris flow had slid into the back of six units. The building was evacuated and at least one unit was red-tagged.

VIDEO: Aerial views of Salinas River flooding in Monterey County as levee breaks from overflowing water

Marin County officials say they are working to provide shelter to those who were affected by this incident which includes 19 residents, seven dogs, four cats and a guinea pig.

Further north, Sonoma County officials and emergency personnel are keeping a close eye on the Russian River and other waterways in the county as more rain falls in the area.

"There's only so much water we can pump," said Jeff Weiss from Caltrans. "So if the rivers flood the highways, we'll need to close roads and implement detours -- which is something we're accustomed to doing, and we already have plans for such an event."

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The Russian River as of Friday was forecast to crest at the 32-foot level around 9 a.m. Sunday, according to county spokesperson Gina Stocker. The county anticipates that it will stay at that level "for about 3 hours" before subsiding.

As of Friday afternoon, state Highway 1 between Russian Gulch and Meyers Grade Road had one lane blocked for emergency road repair, Weiss said. Highway 1 at Fort Ross Creek was also under one-way traffic control near Windemere Point, just north of Fort Ross.

Out of an abundance of caution, Caltrans has simply shut down the intersection of state Highway 121 and state Highway 12 for the last two weeks, Weiss said, as the area is notorious for flooding.

Last week on Highway 12 a large sinkhole formed, Weiss said, and Caltrans will be working on permanent repair of the damage at Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa.

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Overall, the county's bridges are "holding up well," said Weiss, and the agency has been monitoring for scour, or soil erosion that can happen at the base of bridges, which can be made worse when a lot of water in a short period of time is added to the equation.

Currently two bridges in Sonoma County already have existing scour -- the Sonoma Creek Bridge and the Hooker Creek Bridge. Caltrans plans to replace both bridges beginning this spring.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.

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