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Department of Emergency Management

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County opens Emergency Operations Center in response to storms and possible flooding; issues public safety advisory

SANTA ROSA, CA | January 04, 2023

En español »

Sonoma County Administrator Sheryl Bratton has issued an emergency proclamation authorizing activation of the county’s Emergency Operations Center today to monitor and respond as needed to three major storms expected through Wednesday, Jan. 11. Local emergency and weather officials are advising Sonoma County residents to avoid unnecessary travel and prepare for high winds, flash flooding, downed trees and the potential for power outages throughout the region, as well as the potential for landslides or debris flows in burn scar areas.

Residents living along the Russian River, which is expected to reach flood stage by midnight on Thursday, Jan. 5, should be prepared to act in advance of potential flooding. In addition to a High Wind Warning across the region, the National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for coastal areas and a Coastal Flood Advisory for the North Bay.

“Sonoma County stands ready to respond to both expected and unforeseen events that may come from this series of winter storms,” said county Emergency Operations Director Chris Godley. “Out of an abundance of caution and because we’ve been here before, we urge all residents to review emergency supply kits, make a plan, check in on vulnerable family and neighbors and make sure you can stay informed and be alerted to hazards in your area.”

Follow the County of Sonoma’s Facebook page for updates on the storm. Other official sources of information are available on

Sonoma County crews have been in storm preparation mode over the last several weeks clearing out debris jams, removing fallen or hazardous trees, and clearing culverts and ditches.

One Sonoma County school, Horicon School in Annapolis, is confirmed to be closed today due to a blocked road.

County emergency officials are advising the following steps to protect yourself, your family and neighbors and your property during these storms:

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter in place, and flood response.
  • Make sure your Go Bag is ready in case you have to leave immediately.
  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Keep in mind medication needs. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Locate backup batteries and charging devices for phones, radios and other emergency equipment.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container.
  • If flooding begins on your property, move to higher ground. If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. Go on the roof only if necessary

More information about preparing for floods, including sandbag locations, is available at

Information about preparing for landslides is available at

Sign up for Sonoma County emergency alerts here:

A full list of road closures, including text and email alerts, is available at

Review official sources of information in Sonoma County here:

Media Contact:
Paul Gullixson, Communications Manager
(707) 565-3040