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Mudslide triggers evacuation advisory in Woodside neighborhood

Residents in area of rural Woodside advised to evacuate due to mudslide danger
Residents in area of rural Woodside advised to evacuate due to mudslide danger 03:02

WOODSIDE -- San Mateo County officials recommended that the residents of approximately 30 homes on Patrol Road in rural Woodside leave their homes Wednesday after a mudslide shutdown the roadway.

A photo posted on social media showed a stream of mud oozing down the street. Deputies went door to door to warn residents of the threat.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Woodside and surrounding communities until 1 p.m. after up to 3 inches of rain has fallen in the saturated hillsides over the last 24 hours. 

An additional two homes were under mandatory evacuation orders due to the mudslide.   

"The 600-800 block of Patrol Road in Woodside is currently under a 'Highly Recommended Evacuation.' A mudslide has caused the road to be shut down," San Mateo officials tweeted.

"If you live in this area, please pack your "Go Bag", with necessary essentials: insurance policy, pets, medications, a change of clothes, and LEAVE NOW. Once the road gives out completely, residents in that area will not have access to emergency services."

Public works crews cleared the street Wednesday, but the concern is the slide might not be over yet.

Bill Moll and his wife Patty have lived at the top of Patrol Road in Woodside for more than 30 years. He walked down Wednesday afternoon to see what was happening with the slide.

"Just watching what's going on. Hope it's OK," he said. "We haven't seen this for a while, but it doesn't surprise me living up here. With this amount of rain, it's kind of inevitable."

Crews used a bulldozer to scrape the mud off the road and dump it into trucks to haul it away. The lingering concern is the ground is so wet, more mud might slide down the hill, which would block the street and cut off access to the 30 homes on the other side.

"The grounds are saturated and we're trying to make sure we're on top of everything, working with PG&E and our partners with the town of Woodside," explained Woodside Fire Department Battalion Chief Keenan Hird.

The evacuation advisory will stay in place for the next couple of days until geologists are sure the mud is done moving.

Some residents decided to leave anyway, especially since the area has been without power since the storm Tuesday afternoon. But Moll and his wife are going to stay. They said they have hot water and a gas stove to make food, though there currently is no heat.

"The fireplace in the living room is where we had our dinner last night," said Patty Moll. "We may think of getting a generator for the things that like; the refrigerator, freezer, maybe the heater."

Except for the two homes that faced a mandatory order, the area is currently just under an evacuation advisory. Patrol Road is still accessible, but emergency personnel want to make sure residents are ready to go at a moment's notice if anything changes.

Katie Nielsen contributed to this report.

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