Santa Rosa, CA – March 10, 2016 at 1:53 PM – The National Weather Service is currently forecasting a strong winter storm to pass over Sonoma County beginning today and continuing through Sunday. Heavy rainfall and some flooding of rivers and creeks is anticipated. Current predictions indicate the Russian River will crest at 34.7 feet on Saturday morning. At this level, low-lying areas along the lower Russian River are expected to experience flooding, including the Mirabel Trailer Park; low-lying areas of Guerneville and Monte Rio; and the bottom of Redwood Drive in Northwood.
The County is closely monitoring the situation, and is prepared to open the Emergency Operations Center. As part of the County's Code Blue Response, the Homeless & Community Services Team has conducted intensive outreach to shelter operators to identify expanded capacity to shelter the homeless during the storm. Shelter information can be obtained by calling 2-1-1 and the Catholic Charities' Cold Weather Hotline at (707) 800-2927.
The Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works (TPW) will be operating around the clock to keep unincorporated Sonoma County roads clear and maintain access for residents and safety personnel. Staff are available to respond to reports of flooded roads, downed trees and slides. Additionally, TPW will be monitoring areas that are prone to flooding.
All drivers are encouraged to observe road closures and use detour routes. Road closures and restrictions information for the unincorporated areas can be found at http://roadconditions.sonoma-county.org/. Please call TPW at (707) 565-5100 to report a road obstruction during business hours, and the Sheriff's Office at (707) 565-2121 after hours. Sandbags are available to residents at fire stations in West County. Contact your local fire district for availability.
Flood Safety Tips:
- Turn Around, Don't Drown!
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters
- Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Remain in the car if the water is moving.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.