USA -1 Dead as Flooding Continues in Northern California

Rivers in northern California are still high after record-breaking rain brought by an atmospheric river earlier this week.

Russian River flooding in Guerneville, California. Photo: Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

One man has died after being swept away by flood water from the overflowing Eel River in Ferndale, Humbolt County, late on 27 February, 2019.

The National Weather Service reported that Eel River at Fernbridge crested at 25.67 feet on 27 February, the fifth highest crest on record. Major flood stage for that point in the river is 25 feet.

Following evacuation orders in Sonoma County, some evacuations were also ordered in Rock Creek and Chico in Butte County due to flood threat. Butte County Sheriff’s Office said Search and Rescue responded to assist 6 people standing on top of a vehicle after their 3 vehicles became stuck in a flooded roadway.

Meanwhile flooding from the Russian River has reportedly damaged at least 2,000 buildings, mostly in the town of Guerneville and other parts of Sonoma County. Around 10 high water rescues were carried out in areas around Grafton.

The Russian river hit 45.38 feet late on 27 February, it’s sixth highest crest on record and well above major flood stage of 40 feet. Levels are expected to drop over the coming days.

On 28 February California Governor, Gavin Newsom, issued an emergency proclamation for the counties of Amador, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma to help communities respond to and recover from the dangerous flooding, mudslides and damage to critical infrastructure.

Eel river at Fernbridge. Image: NWS
Russian River at Guerneville 01 March 2019. Image; NWS

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