Publication Date February 27, 2019

Worst flooding in decades expected as Russian River rages

United States
Sycamore Court resident Jesse Hagan evacuates to higher ground from an apartment complex in lower Guerneville, Calif., on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Porter, The Press Democrat

Heavy rains are poised to cause the worst flooding along the Russian River in Guerneville in Northern California in more than 20 years.

Here is what you need to know:

Q: What is the outlook?

  • About 4,000 people living in about two dozen areas near the river were ordered to evacuate Tuesday as the river started to flood. It’s expected to crest at 46.1 feet — more than 14 feet above flood stage — Wednesday night.
  • Some areas north of the river got nearly 10 inches of rain as of Tuesday. The National Weather Service said the new storm produced more than a foot of rain in the hills above Healdsburg.


Q: How about burn areas?

  • Sonoma County was hit by devastating wildfires in 2017 that burned thousands of homes and charred many hillsides and canyons.
  • Officials say they are also concerned about mudslides, especially in the hillside neighborhoods along the river and areas ravaged by recent wildfires. One debris flow sloshed across a roadway in the Monte Rio area on Tuesday evening, but no one was injured.