Flooding fears ease in Mendocino County

  • Water on both sides of the Russian River at Hopland shut down Highway 175 to Lake County on Sunday, December 2, 2012. Local resident Juan Ignacio takes photos of the water. (Jeff Kan Lee/ The Press Democrat)

In Mendocino County Sunday emergency officials were closely watching the Russian River levels, but by afternoon the signs were improving.

"We haven't had any major flooding. The storm didn't pan out like they thought it was going to," said Hopland Fire Chief John Bartlett.

The chief, who was at the Hopland bridge over the river at about 1:30 p.m., said the water level was dropping.

Sonoma County Storm Flooding


"We've got blue sky and sun over us. That doesn't mean there isn't water from the north of us coming this way," Bartlett said.

Earlier predictions put the river peaking above flood levels in Hopland. But the Saturday night storm brought less rain than expected and by Sunday morning had blown away.

"All in all we're faring better than we thought we would," said Mendocino County sheriff's Sgt. Shannon Barney, who oversees emergency services.

Barney said there were several minor road closures and Highway 175 was closed near Hopland. Traffic was diverted.

While not as bad as expected, the storm still brought heavy rainfall. Ukiah rain watchers reported 3.25 and 4.11 inches to the National Weather Service.

In Laytonville, one resident reported 5.5 inches and two Redwood Valley residents reported 4.10 inches and 3.21 inches.

By mid-day Sunday, power outages in Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties totalled 2,300 customers, reported PG&E.

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