Russian River residents move to high ground

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11:33PM
Russian River residents are moving themselves and their belongings to higher ground Tuesday as flood waters continue to destroy Sonoma County.

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. - An evacuation advisory was put into effect Tuesday for 1,700 people who live along the Russian River in Sonoma County.

RELATED: Major storm forces evacuations along Russian River

ABC7 News rode along with Russian River firefighters launching a rescue boat down Church Street in Guerneville as they looked for residents trapped in their homes, where flood water is rising.

"We knock on every door," said Mark Haas of the Russian River Fire District. "Some people want to leave, some people don't."

Melba Martinelli and her 83-year-old mother Ebe were rescued from their mobile home. It's too dangerous to stay. "It's our home," Martinelli said. "The only home we've got. We're losing our home now."

Francisco Sanchez used a canoe to reach his home on Mill Street and said his house is in 4 feet of water.

The water is rising. The Russian River is expected to reach 38 feet by late Wednesday which could bring flooding to downtown Guerneville. Marc Moore is moving his things to high ground. "Everybody was calm, but now in a state of panic," he said. "It's going to flood."

"Kinda caught us by surprise," said Steve Gurst whose RV Park on Neely Road is slowly disappearing into the water. "I thought I'd be alright with river level three days ago, I was wrong."

A couple of guys were up for an adventure and snorkeled through flood water.

PHOTOS: Homes, cars near Russian River flooded
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