Archive for November, 2010


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Heavy overnight rains combined with a high tide over six feet led to flooding in parts of Sausalito’s Waldo neighborhood.

While high tides flooded parking lots are nothing out of the ordinary for Sausalito’s houseboat residents, the high tides backed up storm drains, preventing rain water from draining into the bay, making the flooding worse than usual.

The entrance to Issaquah Dock was completely under water.

Parts of the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path were under water, and Caltrans crews closed the Highway 1 northbound exit on U.S. 101 while they worked to clear clogged drains.

Caltrans was kept busy, opening up drains and closing flooded roads near the Highway 1 North exit.

Houseboat residents had no choice but to put on their boots and go about their Sunday.

Gate 5 Road was completely flooded over in front of the Anchorage 5 building, and the water was deep enough that only trucks were able to get through. Other traffic was using the building’s parking lot as a detour.

A bicyclist makes his way along a flooded Gate 5 Road.

Roads were also flooded near Strawberry Village and Tam Junction.

Trucks make their way across a flooded intersection near Tam Junction.

As the high tide recedes, most of the flooding drains off into the bay. The high tides are nothing new for residents of the Gate 6 Cooperative–the ragtag bunch of houseboats that have yet to be integrated into an organized dock.

Even though most of the path was above water, any intrepid users had to watch their step if they wanted to stay dry.

 

The entrance to the Gate 6 Cooperative was completely flooded.

This is usually a gravel parking lot.

The high tide flooded the lawn near the Kappas Marina West Pier.

The Mill Valley-Sausalito Path just barely remained dry.

After being harassed mercilessly for years by angry Bay Area environmentalists, your intrepid blogger finally got to use four wheel drive.

Perhaps the most famous and recognizable part of the Sausalito waterfront are the town’s famous houseboats. While this once-alternative community has lost some it’s 60’s charm to development and and vacation renters, there is still a unique vibe to the houseboat docks.

Click on the image below for an audio slideshow that captures some of the docks’ counter-culture charm.

Click on the image to view the audio slideshow

Produced by Graham Henderson

Voices (in order) Gidion Butler, Shaun Goo

Music Standing in the Mud by Luke Tan (Creative Commons, used with permission)

Sausalito is not known as a particularly polluted area. Still, there is an industrial side of Sausalito that stretches from Dunphy Park along the waterfront to the houseboats at Waldo Point on Gate 5 Road.

Along this stretch there are boatyards, film processing centers, ceramics factories, and automotive shops, just to name a few. Many of these companies are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency because they release pollutants of one type or another. The EPA’s website offers specific details about each company–what kind of pollutants they release, where the site is located, and also the demographics of people living near by. It’s a very cool Web site, enter your zip code to check out where you live.

The result of this bit of industry is that there are some cancer-causing air pollutants in Sausalito. While the odds of actually getting cancer from these are slim–less than 27 in 1 million, to be precise–the chance is still there. Below is a graph that shows what pollutants may have cause that pesky cancer if you happen to be one of those poor 27 per 1 million people. At least it should help you figure out who to sue.

While there are no dangerous superfund sites in Sausalito, there is one site in the Marin Headlands listed by the EPA of having toxic releases. The site is listed as belonging to Service Engineering Company, and while the address given was Pier 38 in San Francisco, the EPA’s map showed the actual location as being in the Headlands.

Below is a graph showing the demographics of the residents who live within a mile of the site. Too often, minorities and poor people are the ones who have to live near toxin-releasing sights. But this being Marin County, the the vast majority of the thausand-or-so residents have college degrees and are fluent English speakers. At least it’s bucking the trend.

All in all, Sausalito, and Marin County in general, are quite pristine when it comes to air quality. But nonetheless, people should know about what poses a potential risk in their neighborhood, so make sure to check out the EPA’s site, it’s their job to tell you, after all. May as well get something for your high property taxes.