By Katie Nielsen


NOVATO (KPIX 5) — Road crews in Marin County on Tuesday continued to work nonstop on the westbound lanes of Highway 37 in an effort to reopen the flood-damaged roadway.

Workers have been on the job around the clock since the roadway first flooded last week. Crews have installed temporary flood barriers and are now working to repave the section of the highway that was underwater for several days.

The problem started on Thursday when torrential rains caused three levees to fail, including one right near Highway 37. That allowed about 650 million gallons of water from Novato Creek and the Bay to rush into the low-lying fields next to the road, flooding portions of the westbound lanes.

Over the weekend, crews from Marin County worked around the clock to build a temporary dam near the levee that failed to stop any more water from flooding the area.

The emergency repairs have already cost Marin County more than $1 million. That amount is expected to increase.

Engineers won’t be able to do a final damage assessment until the floodwaters go down.

County supervisors held a special meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon to ratify a state of emergency declaration. It will then go to Governor Gavin Newsom and the State Office of Emergency Services to be approved. Once that happens, the county can get state and federal funding to help pay for the storm damage repairs.

The road work is scheduled to continue throughout the rest of the day Tuesday. Crews announced early Tuesday evening that they hope to have the westbound lanes of Highway 37 reopened in time for the Wednesday evening commute.

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