Upcoming storms could push Russian River to flood stage

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In the North Bay many eyes are on the Russian River, with more rain coming it is expected to be near flood stage. (KGO-TV)

In the North Bay many eyes are on the Russian River, with more rain coming it is expected to be near flood stage.

The Russian River is now at 14 feet and may be at 32 feet by Friday night, that's officially flood stage.

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The town can handle that, but if the big rains come local agencies are preparing.

It's not a first, but the first in four years at Lake Sonoma. There was yet another flood control release from a large North Bay reservoir. It's an impressive sight, unless you're Carlos Hernandez, the longtime chief engineer.


"Flows like this years back were very common," said Carlos Hernandez of the Amy Corps of Engineers.

It's 1,400 cubic feet per second, a flood control measure based on the levels at the now-full reservoir above.

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Experts predict big rains Thursday could push Guerneville to flood level by Friday night or Saturday morning, that's 32 feet.

Fire chief Steve Baxman remembers the flood of 1986 when 24 inches of rain fell in just more than a week, swelling the Russian River to a record 48.9 feet.

"I mean we have had floods as late as April 15. We can't predict the weather," Baxman said.

The flood consumed this community and caused $40 million damage. Compared with that, the simple threat of a flood in the area barely raises eyebrows.

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Related Topics:
weatherel ninobay arearainstormfloodingflash floodingwinter stormGuerneville
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