USA – Over 520mm of Rain in 48 Hours, Evacuations as Rivers Rise in Northern California

Heavy rain brought by an atmospheric river caused river levels to increase dramatically in Northern California from 26 February, 2019.

Russian River at Guerneville, California, is predicted to reach 46 feet later today. Evacuations orders have been issued. Photo: Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

NWS Bay Area said that Venado in Sonoma County has recorded “an incredible 20.48 inches” (520.19 mm) of rain in 48 hours to 27 February, 2019.

NWS forecast that the Russian River at Guerneville in Sonoma County would reach 46 feet by Wednesday 27 February, which is 14 feet above its flood stage. The Russian River’s record flood level is 49.5 feet set in February 1986.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued on 26 February for thousands of people living in over 20 communities along the river. Some schools and roads have been closed and there is a high risk of mudslides according to County of Sonoma Emergency.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said via Social Media that “Guerneville is land locked. You cannot get into or out of town. All roads leading to the community are flooded.”

The communities under evacuation orders are: Asti, Bailhache, Chianti, Guerneville, Guernewood, Guernewood Park, Hacienda, Jenner, Jimtown, Korbel, Lytton, Northwood, Northwood Lodge, Rolands, Sheridan, Duncans Mills, El Bonita, Mirabel Heights, Mirabel Park, Monte Rio, Montesano, Summerhome Park, Vacation Beach and Wilson Grove. An interactive flood map of the area is available here.

Levels of the Napa River near Napa and near St Helena were also rising and by 27 February had reached moderate flood stage.

Levels of the Russian River at Guerneville. Image: NWS

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