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Released by: County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

County Storm Preparations Update #3

County proclaims existence of a local emergency, begins voluntary evacuations of anticipated flood areas

Santa Rosa, CA  –  December 11, 2014  –  The strong winter storm which began Wednesday, December 10th, has produced significant rain overnight, and is forecast to continue through this evening. The National Weather Service is again forecasting that the heavy rains associated with the storm will cause the Russian River levels to rise throughout the day, and that they would reach flood stage (32 feet) overnight Thursday to Friday, peaking at 37.5 feet. Friday afternoon.

The County Administrator and Emergency Operations Center Director Veronica Ferguson has proclaimed a local emergency as of 10:00 AM this morning. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been open since 7:00 AM today, and the County is prepared to transport and shelter residents in areas at risk of flood. Voluntary evacuation notices in likely flood areas is beginning. Details of the notification areas will be forthcoming.

The Santa Rosa Veteran’s Building will remain open to shelter individuals who choose to evacuate.

County Services

The County is currently conducting regular business. However, many of our Regional Parks facilities are closed or partially closed. Spring Lake Park, all Russian River parks, the campgrounds at Gualala and Stillwater Cove, and the Sonoma Valley Dog Park are all closed at this time. Updated Parks information can be found at the Sonoma County Regional Parks Facebook page

Power Outages

PG&E reports that approximately 15,000 customers are currently without power. The primary impacted area is West County. PG&E is fully staffed, and crews are out assessing damages and making repairs. Information about power outages may be found at www.pge.com/myhome/outages.

Safety Reminders:

Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1 (800) 743-5002.

During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, holiday trees and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.

Updated Shelter Information

The latest information on existing and additional shelters can also be obtained through 2-1-1 and the Catholic Charities’ Cold Weather Hotline at (707) 800-2927.

Road Closures

Several roads are currently closed throughout the County. Up to date road closure information can be found at http://roadconditions.sonoma-county.org/.

Safety Reminder: Drivers should never cross flooded roadways. Cars can be swept away, and present a significant risk to pedestrians. Watch roads for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.

The County will continue to monitor the storm, and provide updated information as it becomes available. The County will also continue to post new information to its website http://sonomacounty.ca.gov, including information on shelters, power outages, school and road closures, safety information, sandbag locations, and rainfall totals.

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