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"Our world is getting smaller": NPR



A playground is underwater in a flooded neighborhood in Guerneville, California.

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A playground is underwater in a flooded neighborhood in Guerneville, California.

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Guerneville, Calif., "Is officially an island," the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said, after heavy rains caused the Russian River to flood nearly 14 feet above water level. flood Wednesday night. The high waters isolated Guerneville and nearby Rio.

The flood level of the Russian River in Guerneville is 10 meters. On Wednesday night, the National Weather Service predicted nearly 20 meters (46 feet). Floods will continue on Thursday as it will take time for all this water to fall.

Thursday morning, the waters finally began to fall and there had been no call for emergency rescues in Guerneville during the night, announced the sheriff's office.

Rescuers evacuate residents in a truck as they drive through a flooded neighborhood in Forestville, California.

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Rescuers evacuate residents in a truck as they drive through a flooded neighborhood in Forestville, California.

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The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office issued a mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday afternoon, when it was expected that the river would surpass its flood level. On Wednesday morning, the ministry said, "Guerneville is a locked territory, you can not get in or out of town, all the roads leading to the community are flooded."

The river peaked at 45.38 feet, the NWS announced, announcing preliminary results on Thursday morning. The water flooded thousands of buildings in Sonoma County, KQED member station Molly Peterson reports.

Ari Herman, left, and Lea Herman, right, embrace a flooded stretch of Highway 116 in Guerneville, California.

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Ari Herman, left, and Lea Herman, right, embrace a flooded stretch of Highway 116 in Guerneville, California.

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Near a bridge across the Russian River, Peterson has been meeting with Darryl Cooper, a resident of the city, who braved the mud and high waters to get a boat off the truck. Cooper was on a mission, he told Peterson.

"I'm going to deliver two packs of cigarettes to my friend who's on an island right now – at his home," Cooper said. "And I have canoes, we'll go canoeing on River Boulevard."

A neighborhood is in floodwater near Guerneville, California.

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A neighborhood is in floodwater near Guerneville, California.

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Residents used everything they could find to get around and reach people in distress. Roads becoming streams and rivers, cars have been replaced by paddles, canoes, rowboats – and in at least one case, a garbage dumpster.

The water has reached near-historic levels, falling a few feet from previous devastating floods that hit Guerneville, about 30 km northwest of San Francisco.

The highest level recorded by the Russian River was measured at 48.56 feet during a catastrophic flood in February 1986. The torrential rains of winter storms also caused a dangerously high flood in 2006. Current floods are by far the worst of the last five years; The flood phase of 2017 has reached 37.82 feet.

Rich Willson crosses the miniature golf course in Guerneville, California.

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Rich Willson crosses the miniature golf course in Guerneville, California.

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The National Meteorological Service describes as disastrous all floods over 45 feet from Guerneville, predicting that almost all of its downtown would be flooded at this height. At 44 feet, the water is high enough to flood the Safeway Grocery Store and the major business districts of Monte Rio and Guerneville Park.

In Monte Rio, fire chief Steve Baxman told Peterson that the teams were working to clear the roads, but that new landslides continue to close new sections.

"Our world is becoming smaller," said Baxman.

View of a flooded vineyard near Guerneville, California. The Russian River has reached its flood level and should continue to reach record levels and flood the city of Guerneville.

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View of a flooded vineyard near Guerneville, California. The Russian River has reached its flood level and should continue to reach record levels and flood the city of Guerneville.

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Downtown Guerneville is lined with shops and restaurants. dozens of vineyards are a short drive away. But some of these vineyards are now under water because of the storms that caused intense rainfall in the area.

Flood warnings prompted the authorities to ask some 4,000 people to seek higher ground in Guerneville and Monte Rio. similar calls were launched in the nearby community of Yolo, where The waters of Cache Creek sank on a dike on Wednesday. Yolo County officials raised an evacuation order late last night.

Highway 116 crosses a flooded neighborhood in Guerneville, California.

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Highway 116 crosses a flooded neighborhood in Guerneville, California.

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Long sections of Highway 116 have been closed, either covered by floodwater or isolated by landslides. While Guerneville appeared to be suffering the worst floods and floods, other cities also faced water damage and evacuations, with the Russian, Napa, Sacramento and other rivers leading their floods.

"Rivers and streams continued to rise in Napa Wednesday," reports KQED. "The Napa River rose to about 18 feet Wednesday noon, according to a marked bridge."

When the storm brought rain and snow into northern California, an avalanche in the Sierra Nevada range forced two Amtrak trains to stop and backtrack, reports the Associated Press. .

The road patrol used a helicopter to get a woman out of the city center of the small town Wednesday, as part of a medical emergency. The National Guard also sent rescue teams to Guerneville and Monte Rio in the form of six high-seas vehicles.

Underwater mailboxes in a flooded area of ​​Forestville, California.

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Underwater mailboxes in a flooded area of ​​Forestville, California.

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There is no rain in Thursday's forecast in Guerneville, but there is a chance of heavy rains on Friday night, the National Meteorological Service said. There is also a possibility of additional showers by next Wednesday.

Residents of Guerneville and other affected communities now have to wait for the water to clear the mud and take stock of the damage.


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