North Bay officials open shelters, rev up response as storm arrives
NOVATO -- Residents preparing for the holiday weekend were out Friday night at local stores to gather groceries before a wet winter storm blasts the Bay Area Saturday New Year's Eve.
North Bay health officials say the consistent rainfall poses a serious threat to unhoused residents and opened their overnight shelter again.
This week Marin County opened its severe weather shelter for the third time in December, based on factors including the plunging temperatures and heavy rain. Officials say that fewer than 10 people had showed up as of Friday night after about a dozen came to the site on Thursday.
"For those of us who have the privilege of housing, we recognize that there are many in our community who don't have that," said Marin County public health officer Dr. Matt Willis.
Some unhoused residents in the county said they would be able to stay out through the storm but worried for others without access to a dry place to stay this weekend.
"I feel really bad for a lot of people that are out there," said Lance Domduy, a Marin County resident.
The additional rain expected over the weekend and into the first week of 2023 has public health officials preparing for additional days where the shelter will need to be open.
Drivers say they will need to stay cautious.
"I've been driving slower, a lot of people have been driving real crazy on the roads so I've been trying to keep it safe," said Ashley Lane, a Marin County resident. "Last minute errands so I don't have to come out tomorrow. I don't really want to be on the road so this is really my last minute errands."
The Marin County Fire Department also warns residents that downed trees, including those that can affect power lines, are more likely.
"Look out for others on the road because you have to drive for yourself and others," Lane said.
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