Sonoma winery forced to close 25 days over past few months because of rain, flooding

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ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Sonoma winery closed 25 days over past few months due to storms
Larson Family Winery in Sonoma County has had to close for 25 days since December because of rain and flooding.

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- The constant rain in the Bay Area has taken a toll in more ways than one. Just ask Larson Family Winery in Sonoma County, which says they've had to close for 25 days since December because of rain and flooding.

"It does take a toll on the business," tasting room manager Hayden Puryear told ABC7 News.

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The main issue is the road leading to the winery. They're located just off a flood-prone area of Highway 121 down Millerick Road. The recent downpours have cut off access to their tasting room.

"There's times where the rest of the city has already dried out and we've got the flooded road," Puryear said. "So, yes, the road has become a big issue that we're constantly working on."

It's an issue that comes at an already tough time for the winery. A year ago, the Larson Family Winery's tasting room burned down in a fire.

"March 2 of last year our tasting room burned down, just an electrical fire that burned one night," Puryear explained, "And now we're all outdoors, so this constant rain and windstorm has been a challenge, to say the least, for sure."

Puryear said they are hoping to open this Thursday, but with more coming on Wednesday he is not so sure.

The rain on Tuesday caused other issues around the North Bay.

VIDEO: Marin Co. mudslide severely damages, buckles 100-foot stretch of road next to Hwy 101

A mudslide has forced the closure of Novato's Olompali State Historic Park due to severe damage to the main road.

In Bodega, gusty winds toppled a large power pole. And in Guerneville, several trees fell down, clipping a home and knocking out power to parts of the neighborhood.

Another big issue is in Marin County where crews continue to monitor the landslide off Highway 101 in Novato.

During last week's storm, the landslide caused Redwood Blvd to buckle. It also exposed a PG&E gas line that forced the partial closure of Highway 101 over the weekend.

Laine Hendricks, a spokesperson for Marin County, said crews -- including geotechnical engineers -- were working 24/7 even through the pouring rain to monitor the hillside.

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"That ground is still pretty saturated and so with more rain in the forecast we want to just keep an eye on it," Hendricks said. "We know, worst case scenario, more erosion could take place, so we're prepared to respond to that if that does indeed happen."

PG&E said they had installed a temporary bypass that would allow gas to continue to flow to Marin County customers even if the hillside continues to move in the coming days.

California has been hit hard by storm after storm so far this year. The big question now - has the rain had any impact on the state's water levels? Go here for a closer look at where we stand with the drought, snowpack totals and reservoirs.

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