California towns cut off by floods

Monday, 04 Mar, 2019

The state highway patrol used a helicopter to take a woman out of the small city's downtown on Wednesday in what was called a medical emergency.

On Saturday, a storm system will enter California with increasing rain and mountain snow. All roads in and out of town are flooded and the town is now an island.

Newsom said Thursday the emergency proclamation is for the counties of Amador, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma, where hundreds were marooned. The precipitation turned the town into an island and forced mandatory evacuations. "You will not be able to get into or out of town without a boat today".

The rain stopped stopped early Wednesday, and floodwaters were expected to recede early Thursday.

The Russian River topped 32 feet (9.8 meters) Tuesday evening and it could crest at more than 46 feet (14 meters) by Wednesday night, which would be its highest level in about 25 years.

About 3,500 people in two dozen communities along the river remained under evacuation orders.

Aerial photos show Guerneville, California, completely cut off by floodwaters as the Russian River crested on Wednesday. "We're not trying to have people standing on their roofs and have to get saved in the middle of the night". The Red Cross is also providing food, health services, relief supplies and helping people plan their next steps.

A slow-moving atmospheric river has caused multiple North Bay rivers and streams to soar above flood stage and beyond.

More rain is forecast over the next couple of days.

Authorities have put an emergency declaration in place, said David Rabbitt with the county board of supervisors.

"Right now, the concern is getting everything back up and running", Mickaelian said. Jeff Bridges, a hotel co-owner who is president of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce, spent the day canoeing through town and gave a ride to a couple and their dog who were stranded in a low-lying apartment.

Rhondell Rasmus had pulled to the side of a road too flooded to cross in Sebastopol in Sonoma County late Tuesday night and emergency dispatchers told her to wait for help. One guest's rental auto got stuck in the water. "You see just the rooftops popping over on the side of the road", Joe Pease, a county employee who delivered sandbags to firefighters but had to stop because of deep water, told CNN affilate KGO. No injuries or deaths in the area have been reported from the flooding.

Eighty-nine roads are still closed across the county. Wick says they expect that to happen by Friday afternoon.

"The store has gone through all the floods but this is a lot more than we expected", Reid said.

The state of emergency came after a significant atmospheric river storm system swept across California, which began on February 25 and brought substantial precipitation, snowfall, high winds, mud and debris flows, and unsafe flooding.