Days of heavy rain coming from a weather system known as the "atmospheric river" pounding northern California spawned the floodwaters that flooded a city north of San Francisco, cutting off the weather. access to all roads Wednesday as the authorities had warned thousands of people to flee.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said the city of Guerneville is "officially an island" because all the roads that lead to it are covered with water from the Russian River.
"Guerneville is a blocked land", the agency m said on Twitter. "You can not come in or out of town, all roads leading to the community are flooded."
WHAT IS AN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER?
Barry Dugin, spokesperson for the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Service, told Fox News that evacuation alerts had been sent to more than 3,600 people in Guerneville and the surrounding area, about an hour away. road north of San Francisco.
According to Dugin, two shelters have already been put in place and have about 75 people. No injuries have been reported yet, but a mudslide on Highway 116 has closed the roadway.
Fire agencies said Tuesday at KTVU that they were expecting a worsening of the situation before recovering. The Monte Rio fire chief, Steve Baxman, was on board a 5-ton army truck over floodwaters in an attempt to rescue residents left behind.
"They are still waiting for the water to enter their home, then they call and say they can not go out," he told KTVU. "They are not injured, they just waited too long to get out."
Tuesday, a landslide near Monte Rio, near Guerneville, in areas ravaged by the fires of 2017, trapped a man and a woman before being rescued, disordered but unscathed.
"Well, I fell in the mud when the tree fell on me … it happened so fast that you do not even know it, you know?" Kear Koch told KGO-TV.
& # 39; ATMOSPHERIC RIVER & # 39;: CALIFORNIA THREATENED BY THE SLIDERS
Dugin told Fox News that the Russian River is expected to reach a peak on Wednesday night at 46 feet, which would be the highest level in about a quarter of a century. While Dugin said the "worst of the rain" has been mitigated, the river is expected to remain in the flood phase until late Thursday night.
The storm system generating the flood is what is called an atmospheric river, which according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a huge plume of subtropical moisture.
"Atmospheric rivers are relatively long and narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that carry most of the water vapor out of the tropics," says NOAA. "These steam columns move with time, carrying a quantity of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi."
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and flash flood alerts in the San Francisco Bay Area and in many parts of the Sacramento area, until Thursday morning. The NWS Bay Regional Office said that Venado, California, in Sonoma County received an "amazing" 20.48 inches of rain in 48 hours.
A relentless rain has forced the cancellation or delay of hundreds of flights to San Francisco, and the city of Santa Rosa has received a rain record of 5.66 centimeters, making it the wettest day since at least 1902.
Several communities were also subject to an eviction order in Butte County due to the flooding of creeks. Other watercourses, including the Napa River, should also overflow their banks as a plume of moisture crossing the oceans continued to cross the west.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
Guerneville often has floods during heavy rains, but some locals said Tuesday did not worry about the threat, according to the Associated Press.
"A few weeks ago, people were using kayaks to get to their mailbox," said Joseph Chung, whose parents own Koala's Fine Food restaurant. "If it gets really bad, we'll go out."
Associated Press contributed to this report.