North Bay Fire Chief’s Prediction for Flooding Along Russian River: ‘Disaster Scale’
#North #Bay #Fire #Chiefs #Prediction #Flooding #Russian #River #Disaster #Scale Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (KGO) — Preparations are underway in the North Bay for the next round of storms that could inundate communities along the Russian River. Fire departments across the region are on standby, ready for possible water rescues and evacuations.
New aerial video Saturday shows a waterlogged Russian River Valley captured by the County Fire District’s new helicopter, Sonoma One.
Saturday’s reconnaissance mission revealed swollen streams and lagoons, which normally overflow from the Russian River, are now reaching the top of their banks.
ABC7 News was there as Sonoma County Fire Department Superintendent Mark Heine landed after surveying the rising waters and more storms on the way. His impressions were sobering.
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“I think the flooding that we’re going to see will be catastrophic, invading businesses and homes and blocking access roads,” Heine said.
Many people in Guerneville have been preparing for flooding and possible evacuations this week, piling sandbags around businesses and homes.
“We have no power at the moment, we have had no power since Wednesday afternoon,” said Daniel Falcon-Schneider.
Falcon-Schneider lives in Cazadero, which has fallen trees everywhere.
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“Looks like a tornado went through. You couldn’t see the asphalt, just all the branches,” said Falcon-Schneider.
He worries that flood water from the river could leave him stranded.
“My biggest fear is being stuck on the other side of Guerneville: out west,” he added.
The Russian River isn’t the only area first responders are concerned about, with many watching the flood-prone Santa Rosa Creek and preparing for possible water rescues.
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The Santa Rosa Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team completed last-minute training on the Russian River and Santa Rosa Creek for real-time response to emergencies.
“Not only have they been busy training, but pre-surveying our creeks and creeks to find trouble spots, so we’re doing everything we can to be prepared,” Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said.
Firefighters are urging people who live near streams and rivers to be prepared to evacuate their homes if the water starts to rise.
“Having a plan B and a go-bag packed, consider where you’re going and how you’ll connect with family members if you lose power,” Heine said.
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