Flooding forces business closures, road blocks in North Bay

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Flooding forces business closures, road blocks in North Bay
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In the North Bay, what began as a night of heavy rains evolved into a morning of fear, near misses and also some serious damage.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (KGO) -- It's a tale of two cities in the North Bay: Guerneville and San Anselmo. It began as a night of heavy rains evolved into a morning of fear, near misses and also some serious damage.

The weather came close to sweeping parts of downtown away. At 7 a.m. the San Anselmo Creek reached 14 feet and seemed destined to turn the center of town into a riverbed, once again.

PHOTOS: Major winter storms sweep across Bay Area

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A man is seen sledding after snow fell on Mount Diablo on Sunday, March 5, 2017.

"It is brutal," said Kacey Gardner, who had ten minutes to move all her stuff at her store, Tumbleweed, to higher ground for the fifth time this rainy season.

"I have been open for five days in January" she said.

In Guerneville, even the community that says it has seen everything water can bring expressed surprise.

Fawn Harbour never expected to be thanking members of the Russian River Fire District, but that was before heavy rains turned into high waters, and then those high waters turned her house into an island.

Fire fighters has to walk her out this afternoon and it's not the first time she's been flooded this winter.

"This is three or four times, and this time, it will rise up into the houses because the creeks are coming now," she explained.

Creeks coming, landslides falling, and even roadbeds being eaten away from below.

It's the best of times because it could have been worse. And the worst of times because, after today, we wonder, what comes next?

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for parts of Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Santa Cruz counties for Tuesday because of heavy rain that is already causing flooding in some locations.

FULL LIST: Storm triggers closure of dozens of schools in Marin and Sonoma Counties.

The warning was issued for southeastern Marin County until 11:15 a.m., southeastern Sonoma County until 2:15 p.m. and southwestern Napa County until 1:15 p.m., according to the weather service.

Flash flooding is already occurring in Fairfax Creek in Marin County and is imminent in other locations in the county such as Corte Madera and Mill Valley, weather service officials said.

Gauges in the Laguna de Santa Rosa and Petaluma areas in Sonoma County also show high water levels, as well as many locations in Napa County such as Napa, St. Helena, Calistoga and Yountville, according to the weather service.

Relentless rain has also turned a popular highway in the North Bay into a river. Highway 121 near Highway 12 flooded in Schellville overnight. Three cars got stuck in the flooding and six people were rescued by firefighters. All of the rescued are expected to be okay.

REAL-TIME: Track the rain on Live Doppler 7

Tuesday's storm is a 3 on the ABC7 News Storm Impact Scale.

MORE INFO: ABC7 News Storm Impact Scale explained

The higher rainfall total and potential for flooding meet level 3 storm criteria.

A graphic revealing rainfall potential in the Bay Area for Tuesday, February 7, 2017 is seen in this image.

Click here to download the ABC7 News App to get your weather forecast on the go. And make sure you enable push alerts for immediate notifications and severe weather alerts.

Bay City News has contributed to this report