The February 27th flood injured several businesses along the Russian River, including over four hundred commercial or industrial buildings countywide. The Rio theater in Monte Rio (upper left photo) had seen this several times before, at least seven times since its construction in 1950, but not to worry. Its iconic piece of Christo’s Running Fence rests high and dry across the theater’s ceiling. The owner, like many hardy souls in the area, owns a sense of humor. Last weekend he changed the marquee out front to read A River Runs Thru It.
God only knows how many times the Highland Dell Hotel in Monte Rio (upper right photo) has been inundated since its inception in 1910. Records state nine such incidents have occurred, but there have been several times when rain gauges have been swept away or damaged beyond useful. Its beautiful lobby, bar, and dining area are under three feet of water. We wish Herb and Ingrid a quick recovery.
Businesses on the Fritz:
D & G Equity Management (lower left photo) saw their lower offices receive water. Furniture, electrical appliances, etc were destroyed. Sheetrock and flooring will have to be replaced. The structure sits in a low-lying area on Mills Street in Guerneville between the post office and the Timberline at Bucks restaurant. As the waters receded, business owners and residents on those back streets were able to clean up. A solid wall of debris, six feet high, runs for several blocks, waiting for the help that may never come. Federal and state emergency funds are strapped due in large part to past fires. Money will not be coming to the county from these outside sources for curbside pickup with the exception of toxic fluids. In the meantime, health concerns mount.
Grape vines are hardy but may have difficulty withstanding the effects of repeated flooding. The vineyards in Forestville (lower right photo) are typical and may be forced to follow the path taken by Korbel Winery, which had to remove several acres of grapes near the Russian River.