Stephen Ellison

Enough is Enough: North Bay Residents Are Rain Weary

Flooding, slides, closed roads impact Russian River and Sonoma County coast regions

For those living along the Russian River, flooded roads during rainy weather are pretty much a standard expectation, though it does make life more difficult. But when the water level starts creeping up further, residents get a little unnerved.

Annie Lovell is used to flooded out roads in her Guerneville neighborhood. She's just hoping the water stops there.

"This is expected,' she said, looking at a flood caused by the overflowing Russian River. "You should see our yard; it’s a lake. Everything is underwater. As long as it doesn’t get in our house."

It's not just rising water levels that are causing concern in the North Bay. After days of rain, there is simply nowhere for the water go.

On Wednesday, water made it underneath LoraAnn Thorp's mobile home at Mirabel Park and Campground in Forestville.

She measured the Russian's level 32 1/2 feet last night.

Everyone else in the park moved to higher ground when the river hit 31 feet. She's staying til it hits 36.

"It's taking a risk, yeah, but it is taking a greater risk by moving this big clunker here," she said, referring to her trailer.

Guerneville's Donna Langerman says there is something different about this season's storms that she attributes to years of drought.

"This year, it's been more landslides and the downed trees that have caused more trouble than the actual level of the river," Langerman said.

Along Highway 1 in Sonoma County, part of the road gave way Wednesday.

"There is too much water," said Sgt. Ryan Russell of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. "The soil can’t stick together, so gravity is taking over."

Russell says the rain has caused mudslides and closed roads along the coast, making it tough for residents to get where they're going.

Resident Joe Riley, who caught a ride with a stanger, says people are helping each other get through it.

"I want it to stop," he said.

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