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Novato mudslide buckles road to Olompali State Park; Impacts PG&E gas lines, nearby aqueduct

Novato Mudslide buckles road to Olompali State Park; Impacts PG&E gas lines, nearby aqueduct
Novato mudslide buckles road to Olompali State Park; Impacts PG&E gas lines, nearby aqueduct 02:23

NOVATO -- A mudslide caused by the recent storms has mangled a Marin County road, causing it to buckle and break into pieces as well as impacting two PG&E gas transmission lines and an aqueduct.

The slide happened in Novato Tuesday evening on Redwood Boulevard next to U.S. Highway 101 and Olompali State Park. It is another example of the sheer power of the weather the Bay Area has been experiencing off and on since late December.

Land and mud have shifted, causing part of the road to buckle and give way. The most recent storm Tuesday caused major erosion on the hillside, leading to the slide. 

PG&E along with North Marin Water District crews are actively assessing and deciding options on stabilizing the area.

PG&E said the utility has assets in the area, including two underground gas transmission lines. One of the lines was exposed at the top of the mudslide and the second one is buried by the mudslide.

The slide also impacted electric transmission and distribution poles in the area. PG&E crews were working to make the necessary repairs.   

PG&E reported that because they can't visually assess the potential impact of slide on the buried pipeline, operating pressure has been reduced.

Officials with the Marin County Office of Emergency Management said the slide might possibly be creating pressure on a North Marin Water District aqueduct that runs from Sonoma County to Marin. 

"No gas line  or water line breech has occurred to date.  No observable movement has occurred since Thursday night and there is no immediate threat to residents," emergency officials said.

Crews said they are hoping to prevent further sliding. There are no homes in the immediate area impacted by the slide. 

The damage to the road has also restricted access to Olompali State Park. Redwood Boulevard -- the only way in and out of the park -- has been closed indefinitely.

"Right now, there's no vehicle access. There's not going to be any access along the bike path or the road until this gets repaired," said Chief Park Ranger Vince Anibale. "So people won't be able to come to the park."

The slide has damaged an approximately 100-foot stretch of the road that runs adjacent to southbound U.S. Highway 101. Officials said there is currently no threat to or closure of Highway 101.

Justin Andrews contributed to this story.

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