Mostly clear

Storm closes roads, cuts power around Sonoma County (w/video)

  • A truck drives through flood waters crossing a section of Mark West Station Road, west of the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Windsor, Calif., on February 8, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Even so, the rapid increase in flow level on the Russian River was exciting to witness, Sonoma County Water Agency spokesman Brad Sherwood said.

"We went from 40 cubic feet per second feet Friday to a little over 100 on Saturday to now over 10,000," Sherwood said Sunday evening, citing flow rates at Healdsburg. "It's crazy."

The Russian River was expected to have crested at 8.7 feet around 11 a.m. Sunday at Healdsburg, according to the California Nevada River Forecast Center. That's still well shy of flood stage of 23 feet.

Big Storm Hits Sonoma County


Further downstream, the river was expected to crest at Guerneville around 11 p.m. Sunday at just under 19 feet, also well below its flood stage of 32 feet, the center said.

Projections show the river level dropping steadily over the next several days as the rain tapers off, but remaining significantly higher than previous weeks.

The high water levels caught two Santa Rosa men off guard Sunday afternoon when they became stranded on an island of debris in the middle of Santa Rosa Creek and had to be rescued by firefighters.

Another man who tried to drive across Atascadero Creek near Graton got trapped when three to four feet of fast-moving water pushed his vehicle. Graton firefighters rescued the man sometime after 10 p.m., according to dispatchers.

Downed trees, flooding and landslides closed many roads Saturday afternoon, but several were reopened Sunday. Others such as Rohnert Park Expressway and Mark West Station Road remained flooded and wouldn't improve until river levels dropped, said Rob Silva, the county road department operations manager.

There were literally dozens of car crashes and spinouts over the weekend, Santa Rosa police Sgt. John Kregan said. "It basically comes down to driving too fast for the wet conditions," Kregan said.

There were several locations around Santa Rosa where several inches of standing water made driving treacherous, but no roads were closed Sunday, Kregan said.

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