Rapidly rising creek forces evacuations in San Anselmo

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (KGO) -- It was no drill when the flood horn sounded, alerting everyone in downtown San Anselmo to evacuate.

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"I got the alert on my phone as well as the siren," said Dan Hillman, a San Anselmo resident. "Things are going down."

By 6 p.m. Thursday police had streets blocked off. Downtown was deserted, San Anselmo Creek was at 12 feet, just a foot away from jumping its banks.

"It's barely fitting under buildings," said another resident Doug Mathieux. "Haven't seen it this high in years, scary."

San Anselmo Creek rose from calm to raging water in just a matter of hours.

"If we have six inches of rain in 12 hours, it's going to come up," said San Anselmo Town Manager Debbie Stutsman. "This was a significant amount of rain."

Brad McKenzie at Three Ring Cycles tried saving all the merchandise he could when he heard the flood horn. "We took it seriously," he told ABC7 News. "Got everything off the floor we could, put up flood gate."

Every business has flood gates which lock tight in front doors to keep water out with the help of lots of sandbags.

"When it does flood, the whole strip goes. San Anselmo Ave," added Hillman.

This time the creek gave downtown San Anselmo a break, but caused a lot of drama.

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