County of Marin - News Releases - Marin Flood Preparedness Week Fair

For Immediate Release
October 07, 2015

Flood Preparedness Fair Prepares Us for El Niño

Event October 24 in San Rafael is part of California Flood Preparedness Week

San Rafael, CA – El Niño is on its way, but it’s not catching Marin County’s flood control experts by surprise. Residents shouldn’t be surprised, either, and that’s the goal of the first Marin Flood Preparedness Week Fair on October 24, a first-time event that’s part of California Flood Preparedness Week.

A view from Highway 101 showing flooded streets in Sausalito near Richardson Bay.The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has advised that El Niño conditions are already present and likely will continue through this winter. The latest precipitation outlook for December through March indicates that Marin will likely receive more rain the usual and tides could be significantly higher than predicted because of higher ocean water temperatures. 

Regardless of predictions, the Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District  prepares every year as though it is an El Niño year. Although two major flooding years in Marin's history occurred during years with El Niño episodes (1997/98 and 1982/83), it is not unusual to experience major flooding in the absence of El Niño, such as in 2005/06. Flooding can even occur during a drought year. Just last year, the County suffered some of its worst flood damage since 2006.

Weather patterns are unpredictable, so the Flood Control District implements a consistent system of facility and creek maintenance each year to mitigate flood risks. There are regular inspections of creeks, floodwalls and levees. Pumps, motors and generators are frequently tested. Creeks, drainage ditches, pipes, trash racks, and pump wet wells are cleared of vegetation, sediment and trash in the fall and throughout the winter as needed. Flood control zone-specific updates regarding maintenance, storm preparedness and responses are provided on

Marin Flood Preparedness Week Fair is an additional step in the Flood Control District’s public awareness and education efforts. Local residents, property owners and business owners can learn the best way to prepare for winter storms at the free event. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., drop by the Manzanita Room at the Marin Exhibit Hall, near the back parking lot of the Marin County Fairgrounds. The address is 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael. 

Fair attendees will:

  • Learn what El Niño could mean for Marin
  • Get tips about protecting property from flooding
  • Find out how to receive emergency alerts
  • Learn about the community’s level of flood preparedness
  • See what resources are available to the public
  • Share ideas with other residents
  • And much more!

Exhibitors include local, regional and national flood control agencies, environmental groups, emergency services specialists, town and city representatives and private companies.

Learn more on the Flood Control District’s flood preparedness webpage.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY) or e-mail


Hannah Lee
Senior Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2671
Email: Hannah Lee
DPW Website