Major flooding along the Russian River in Sonoma County on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 prompted mandatory evacuations and left two towns accessible only by boat (see aerial photo of Guerneville). The river crested at 45.4 feet, the sixth largest flood in the area since recording such events began in 1879. At 33 feet the river crept onto the peewee golf course in Guerneville (lower right photo) and the Mirabel trailer park in Forestville. No big deal. At 39 feet River Road began to close near Hacienda Bridge (lower left photo-rescue workers motor near bridge) and the Triple R Resort in Guerneville flooded. Hmmmm.
At 41.5 feet, True Value hardware, Napa Auto Parts and Stumptown Brewery along the strip between Guerneville and Rio Nido had already accumulated over a foot of water.
River Road closed, Main Street in Monte Rio closed and a major mudslide occurred near the skatepark blocking escape to Occidental. Austin Creek Road closed to Cazadero, which experienced nineteen inches of rain in thirty hours. Towns became islands. Uh oh.
At 45.4 feet (nearly 14 feet above flood stage) Bartlett’s market in Monte Rio took on water; parts of four golf holes at Northwood went under. Over 3,500 people were under evacuation orders while approximately 2,000 homes and businesses were damaged, the Associated Press reported. Two wastewater treatment plants were not working, leading to concerns of contaminated spillage. In downtown Guerneville, some residents stood on the roofs of their flooded two-story houses, watching neighbors and others paddling kayaks down watery streets. Oversized National Guard trucks occasionally sloshed by, creating waves, which exacerbated the issue in some cases.