North Bay prepares for wet week, rubber dam lowered on Russian River

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
North Bay prepares for wet week, Russian River rubber dam lowered
Sonoma County is preparing for a wet week by lowering the Russian River rubber dam to avoid any damage to the device.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, people are getting ready for a very wet week but are happy to see the rain.

Flood prevention efforts are also underway near the Russian River.

Heavy rain arrived Monday morning, making driving challenging on Highway 101 in Novato, clear up to the backroads of Sonoma Wine Country.

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"We are very happy to see the rain coming. It's been pretty dry," said Pam Jeane from Sonoma Water.

All eyes are on the Russian River. Sonoma Water officials say it's currently flowing at about 400 cubic feet per second but later this week it could be running 25 times that. It's why a rubber dam near Forestville is being deflated because it could be damaged.

"In order to avoid the damage, we need to lower the dam and let it sit at the bottom of the river to let all the water pass over the top of it," said Jeane.

ABC7 News found a landscape restoration crew working to prevent flooding and erosion near a Wohler Road vineyard.

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"We put in all this rock, preventing the bank from washing off, we put in fabric on the adjacent side of the stream too," said Travis Claeys from WRA Environmental.

In Petaluma, rain didn't stop folks from having lunch outside under covered parklets. Yasmin Onate was trying to keep her dog Cargo dry.

"I forgot his raincoat, I'm being a bad mom but he's still warm," said Onate.

The Marin County Fire Department posted on X, advising folks to avoid non-essential travel during the peak of the storm. The department says Marin is expecting an estimated total of five inches of rain between now and Wednesday.

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