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North Bay businesses cleaning up after major storm

This past weekend's heavy rainstorm helped replenish some water in Phoenix Lake in Marin County, but drought fears still remain.
February 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The rain that drenched the Bay Area over the weekend helped, but not nearly enough to make a dent in the drought. The North Bay bore the brunt of this weekend's storm, so businesses spent the day cleaning up after the storm caused flooding and damage.

It's a frustrating ritual for Gabriel Leis, who had to bring out the blowers and dehumidifiers to dry out his Mill Valley restaurant, Joes Taco Lounge.

Every time it rains a bit and the nearby Corte Madera Creek rises, it floods and Leis blames a clogged storm drain the city refuses to fix.

"The city knows about it. We've been talking to them for years. They just dragging their feet, don't get anything done and you know they just keeping letting us get flooded," Leis said

The 2 a.m. Club had to shut down around 1 a.m. Sunday morning when the bar started filling up with water.

"There were people wading through several inches of water to come in and get a drink, but at a certain point, we finally had to say enough is enough," owner Dave Marshall said.

"Joe's, again, took it harder. They had to close business for the entire day all day, which was several thousand dollars for them," Marshall said.

The Mill Valley Department of Public Works just completed a flood study examining solutions and the director says there are some alternatives, but they're really expensive.

Despite all the rainfall that drenched the Bay Area over the weekend, the Sonoma County Water Agency says we are still far from being drought free. The agency's director says we need at least six more storms to get close to normal water levels for this time of year.

A few vineyards in Forestville were plunged underwater, something few remember seeing in a long time.

It was a different story in Healdsburg where the soil is perfect for growing Pinot grapes, but one winemaker said they'll need more rain in the next few weeks to keep the moisture in the soil.

In the meantime, Sonoma County officials are reminding everyone to conserve.

"Irrigation off, shorter showers, full loads of laundry, full loads of dishwashing, everything you can possible think of," Sonoma County Water Agency Director Shirley Zane said.

If things don't improve, a mandatory water conservation plan may have to be imposed.


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