Sonoma Water
Released by: Water Agency
For Immediate Release

Russian River Mouth Open; Water Levels Dropping

Jenner, CA  –  December 17, 2018  –  The mouth of the Russian River opened on its own at about 9:30 p.m., Sunday, December 16. The water surface elevation is currently about six feet above sea level, and no longer presents a flooding threat to low-lying areas of Jenner. (A press release was sent out on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. alerting the public to potential flooding in the Jenner area, if the river mouth remained closed.)

The mouth of the Russian River estuary closed on Friday, December 14, when a barrier beach was created as a result of large ocean swells. Water levels rose quickly, aided by wave overwash from the large surf and high river flows from heavy rainfall.

Flooding of docks, boat houses and the Jenner Visitor Center generally occur when water surface elevations are over nine feet. On Sunday night, water surface elevations peaked at approximately 11 feet above sea level.

When the river mouth closes, the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) is responsible for managing the estuary to reduce the risks of flooding. Sonoma Water staff actively monitored conditions since Friday, but large waves made it unsafe to bring heavy equipment onto the beach. Sonoma Water provided updates to area residents and emergency services.

Sonoma Water provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at




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