Guerneville Cleans Up, Preps For More Rain This Week | NBC Bay Area
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Guerneville Cleans Up, Preps For More Rain This Week

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    One of the Bay Area communities hit hardest by the last wave of storms is now preparing for more rain and the possibility of new flooding. Laura Malpert reports. (Published Monday, Jan. 16, 2017)

    One of the Bay Area communities hit hardest by the last wave of storms is now preparing for more rain and the possibility of new flooding.

    Many residents in Guerneville in Sonoma County spent their holiday weekend trying to clean up as flood waters from the Russian River finally began receding. Now it's become a dual effort as those same residents also gear up for another storm.

    The Russian River is still swollen, though nothing like it was last week when neighbors could only get around by boat. And even though the looming rainfall is not nearly as powerful as the previous string of systems, the Guerneville community is not taking any chances.

    Donald Miske, for one, said he's been "working all day" on clearing out the muck in the basement of his home.

    "I took water up to the mark on the door, which is about 4-foot, and of course it destroys everything that it touches because it's contaminated," Miske said about last week's flood waters.

    The scene at Miske's home was a common one in Guerneville after the Russian River reached its highest level in a decade. Steve Checkowich sold his house in town last year but came back to help his former neighbors.

    "They were powerful," he said of the rains. "For two days, they caused a lot of water to fall. I had my neighbor's house that had to be washed up and stuff, so that's what I've been doing."

    Low-lying areas near downtown Guerneville were in good shape Monday after dozens of volunteers cleaned up over the weekend. Some homeowners weren't as concerned about the prospect of more rain and more flooding.

    Still, they're getting ready just in case.

    "We'll be certain to leave our cars and things that can be moved," said John Gormley. "We'll leave them in areas that are very unlikely to be actually flooded."

    The first in a string of three storms is expected to hit the Bay Area on Wednesday, according to forecasters. A second one lands Friday, with lingering showers Saturday, and a third is due in by Sunday.

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