Sonoma County is gearing up for the upcoming heavy wind and rain brought on by the winter storm expected Tuesday night through Thursday, county officials said.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Sonoma County. In anticipation of the storm and flood warnings, the Sonoma County Water Agency is planning to deflate the rubber dam located in the Russian River near Forestville, just downstream of the Wohler Bridge.
Sonoma Water routinely deflates the rubber dam when Russian River flow forecasts show the river reaching 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs); the river's flow is forecast to reach above 5,000 cfs this week. In addition to the Flash Flood Warning, the National Weather Service has issued an overnight Freeze Warning in Sonoma County.
In response, county officials recommend that residents limit time outdoors and avoid prolonged cold weather exposure. Additionally, county officials warn that environmental landscape changes such as those caused by fire or rain can lead to debris flows and slides.
If residents feel in danger, they should evacuate the area. For community members in need or experiencing homelessness, a county program called Coordinated Entry is available to offer shelter, service and housing.
Beyond county resources, the city of Cotati is providing a self-serve sandbag station to residents. The station, located at 1 Trebino Court near Blodgett Street, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. Each person can take up to 10 sandbags.
Sonoma County encourages its residents to sign up for wireless emergency alerts at www.socoemergency.org/get-ready/sign-up/.