Long History of Flooding in Marin

by Laurie Thompson

Flooding in Kentfield, probably in the area of Laurel Avenue (Granton Park), 1940. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.
Flooding on Bridgeway in Sausalito, Oct., 1950. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

The rains have finally arrived and so have the floods!

Here are a few photographs and an article from our archive documenting floods in Marin in past decades.

On January 20, 1921, the Marin Journal reports:


San Rafael was drenched with 4.50 inches of rain Sunday night, according to the record at the Bank of San Rafael.

The marsh in East San Rafael was a sea of water all day Monday as the creeks and sewers poured their streams down out of the hills to meet the tides of the bay. The flats in Kentfield were covered with several feet of water. The school there was closed for the day as was the Fairfax school. It is reported that many early risers in Kentfield climbed on chairs and tables to don their day time apparel, as the water had crept in and submerged the floors.

A dozen or more automobiles stalled on B street near First when they tried to traverse the flood which swept out of Mahon creek at that point.

During the early commuting hours it was impossible for the travelers to reach the ticket windows at the Union Depot and the B street stations, and it is reported that several of the fair sex were carried from the machines at the Union Depot to the train, from which they were separated by a waste of water three or four inches in depth.

Old residents declare that the rainfall for a few hours was the heaviest in their recollection….

Flood waters in San Anselmo, February 1925. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.
Checking for flood damage at the Bolinas Branch of the Marin County Free Library, following heavy rains in 1952. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

Originally published at https://annetkent.kontribune.com.



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Anne T. Kent California Room

Anne T. Kent California Room


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