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It's finally feeling like winter again (w/video)

  • Eric Sturtevant looks over the slide on Ft. Ross Rd. near the town on Carzadero on Sunday, February 8, 2014. Sturtevant, who lives on east side of the slide says the closed road will add 45 minutes to his drive into Santa Rosa.

    (John Burgess/For The Press Democrat)

"It's a good soaking, but we need a lot more," water agency spokesman Brad Sherwood said. "It's not a drought buster."

The 3.34 inches of rain recorded for Santa Rosa for the 24 hours from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday amounted to nearly half of what's fallen to date this season — 7.64 inches.

That's only a third of the 23.43 inches that's considered seasonal average by this date, said Bob Benjamin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Big Storm Hits Sonoma County

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It would take another 6 inches to 7 inches just to reach rainfall totals from 1977, "the worst drought year we remember," water agency representative Ann DuBay said.

"We're just reminding people, once again, that even though this rain is terrific, and we are thrilled to see it, that we are still in a drought," DuBay said. "It's going to take a lot more rain before we can even get to a normal water year, so we are just encouraging people to continue to conserve."

Cazadero resident Eric Sturtevant may be a hard-sell, however. Sturtevant emptied his rain gauge Feb. 1 and by Saturday had collected more than 17 inches of rainfall, he said.

"Back in the 70s, we used to get rain really hard like this, but this is most extreme," he said. "It's huge."

Most of Sonoma County had 24-hour totals were in the 2-inch to 4-inch range, while Sebastopol came in with 5.95 inches, Sonoma had 6.5 inches, and Guerneville had 6.

Cazadero's official rainfall total was 8.76 inches by 4 p.m. Saturday, but around the hills, some folks with gauges reported upwards of 12 to 14 inches, Fort Ross Fire Chief Paul Ginesi said.

Readings from Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino that would reflect the most recent influx of rain were not available before midnight Saturday, and the levels were expected to rise for several days before the full measure of the storm was clear, water agency personnel said.


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