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Powerful Storms Heading to Mill Valley - Is Your Home Ready?

It's a good time to check your gutters and prepare for possible power outages. The season's biggest storm system so far is expected to hit the Bay Area with high winds and up to 8 inches of rain in the North Bay.

A series of powerful rainstorms is expected to hit the Bay Area beginning Wednesday morning, dumping up to 8 inches of rain on parts of the region, a National Weather Service forecaster said Monday.

The storms will start around the time of the morning commute on Wednesday and continue through the weekend, bringing winds of 40 to 50 mph and 1 to 3 inches of rain to most parts of the Bay Area, forecaster Steve Anderson said.

"This is certainly the biggest storm of the season so far," Anderson said. "Typically, we get our big rain events in December and January."

The rainfall will be most intense here in the North Bay, where 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in low lands and as many at 8 inches in the hills, Anderson said.         

"It's mostly going to be a North Bay event, the heaviest rainfall," Anderson said.

Smaller creeks in the North Bay are likely to fill to bank level, he said.

Streets throughout the Bay Area will be soaked, and fallen leaves from trees are expected to clog storm drains, so some roads and intersections will see some flooding and the usual traffic delays, Anderson said.

Bay Area residents should also get ready for possible downed trees and power outages.

"If you have an alarm clock that's electric, make sure you have a backup," Anderson said.

Fifteen- to 18-foot waves are expected along the coast during the stormy weather, he said.

Here’s some tips from the City of Mill Valley website on how to prepare your home for any storm. 

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A STORM 

Stock up on Sandbags. Residents or business owners may also pick up sand bags at hardwood stores. There also stockpiles at the Fire Stations at 1 Hamilton Ave. and 26 Corte Madera Ave. There is a limit of ten sandbags per household or business. Sand is available during the rainy season to City residents and businesses at Hauke Park parking lot, Thalia parking lot at Boyle Park, and the parking area on Molino Ave., behind Old Mill Park (approx 100' yds east of Molino/Cascade Way)

Prepare for Power Outages

  • Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages. Have battery-operated flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
  • PG&E recommends that customers do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, extreme caution is urged. Do not use candles near drapes or under lampshades. Keep candles away from small children, and do not leave candles unattended.
  • If you have a stand-by generator, inform PG&E and make sure that it's installed safely. If it's not, you risk damaging your property and endangering PG&E line workers who may be working on power lines some distance from your home. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on the PG&E website at www.pge.com/generator.
  • If your power goes out, unplug or turn off all electric appliances, including computers and printers. Otherwise, when power is restored, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits or hot appliances may come on while you're away or asleep and pose a fire hazard. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • If you come across a downed power line, stay away from it and call 911. In the event of a power outage, information on the outage can be obtained at (800) 743-5000.
  • Before your power goes out, make ice in 2-liter soda bottles. Use empty, clean plastic milk jugs and 2-liter soda bottles or blue ice from your picnic cooler to keep your food cold. With minimal opening and shutting of doors, food should remain usable for up to two days.

Drive with Caution
When driving in the rain, use extra caution and always have your headlights on. Remember, if you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights. Please obey the speed limits and follow other traffic at a safe distanc

Helpful Links

If you have questions or comments please call Department of Public Works at 388-4033 X 117 or the Fire Department at 389-4130.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report. 

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