Mar 01, 2019

Guerneville, Calif., Isolated by Floodwaters

The town was turned into an island after the Russian River rose 13 ft above flood stage

Storm floods Northern California town
Storm floods Northern California town

On Feb. 26, the town of Guerneville, Calif., was isolated by floodwaters after the Russian River rose to more than 45 ft, cresting at 45.31 ft. Much of Northern California faced flood warnings and many rivers and streams reached flood stage in the intense rain storm.

In Guerneville, residents turned to kayaks and canoes to navigate the town’s roadways, reported CNN. Approximately 2,000 homes and buildings in the town have flooded and 59 people have been rescued from rising floodwaters. At 13 ft above flood stage, county officials issued an emergency declaration.

"(The proclamation) is not just a sign that we have insufficient resources or we're overwhelmed, but instead that we recognize the true potential worst-case scenario here," said Sonoma County Emergency Manager Chris Godley said, "and we want to make sure that we're mobilized effectively and fully to deal with that threat."

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, evacuation orders in Guerneville are expected to be lifted March 1, nearly three days after the evacuation orders began. The flood was the sixth highest crest of the Russian River on record and the river is not expected to fall below flood stage until March 6.