SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - Dramatic video (below) shows the moment a giant wall of mud destroyed a home in San Rafael.
The home located in the 300 block of Mountain View Avenue, has been red tagged along with the house next door. The five-bedroom, split-level home was virtually destroyed during the mudslide.
That rain soaked hillside is still unstable according to authorities.
The homeowner said he heard cracking sounds in his yard just before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. The slide began as owner John Futscher was taking one of his children to school. When he returned, he said firefighters and public works crews were on scene.
One of the first responders was clearly worried about time.
"He asked if anyone was in there and said to get them out of the house," Futscher said. "So, we ran out the door, in the middle of the rain and watched it over the next 90 minutes slowly roll to what it did.
"First the deck on the right side, blew out," Futscher said. "Then, you could see the main part of the house move. The chimney went and came down in the street and all the living room windows popped out. It just kept getting pushed forward with the power of the mud. Then there was another slide, further up the hill, that came down an sheared the house."
Futscher says he is thankful to be alive, noting "Last year I had colon cancer and now I'm healthy. We'll beat this, too."
Recent rains have saturated the group and weakened thousands of hillsides and hundreds of thousands of trees planted throughout the region.
Regular home insurance or flood insurance generally does not cover landslides and landslide insurance is virtually impossible to get and very expensive.
Despite the devastating loss, Futscher said he is grateful.
"I'm very lucky (because) it was kind of in slow motion (and) we're all safe," Futscher said. "All four of us are out and the dog came out. And the firemen, God bless them, went in and got the cat for me. So that's nice."
KTVU reporter Tom Vacar contributed to this report.