The flood last week was Jeff Bridges’ fourth rodeo. He is the owner of the R3 Hotel in Guerneville. Over eight feet invaded his lodge, bar and restaurant (upper photo). But Bridges was not intimidated. After all, he had had his tetanus shot and was prepared to use lots of bleach and power washers. However, even with protective gear, it is difficult to keep the river crud at bay. It splashes onto your face and other areas of exposed skin. Some were forced to halt cleanup as sickness set in, diarrhea in full swing.
“It will be a total gut job and renovation,” Bridges said. “But it will reopen bigger, better and more sparkly than before.” Such is the uplifting attitude and familiar refrain from many who are determined to thumb their nose at the rebellious Russian River in exchange for a slice of paradise.
2019 Flood Damages:
Raena and Brad Metzger watched from nearby as floodwaters rose toward the eaves of their Rio Nido Roadhouse bar and restaurant (lower photo). They had sunk their life savings into the business, which could not withstand the slow moving disaster that swallowed the building. “I would not wish this on anyone,” Brad said. And he is not alone. There are over 3,500 structures in flood zones county wide, including nearly 2,500 homes and 438 commercial or industrial buildings. Several residences in Guerneville and Monte Rio have been red-tagged or yellow-tagged and will have to pay the $600 permit fee by the county to fix what must be fixed. Some complain that the flood is a money-maker for the Permit & Resource Management Department.