'Too fast': Weekend storm brings flooding, mudslides and toppled trees to North Bay

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, January 9, 2023
Weekend storm brings flooding, mudslides, toppled trees to North Bay
In the North Bay, many are cleaning up and drying out after the last round of storms brought thunder, lightning and flooding to the region.

FORESTVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, many are cleaning up and drying out after the last round of storms brought thunder, lightning and flooding to the region.

The flooding inside Grace Barnard's apartment in Forestville after a storm blew through Saturday night was awful. Barnard says it happened so fast.

"I can see there was water rushing down that hillside, so I was concerned. Ten minutes later, there's already a foot of water outside my door," she said.

Barnard says grabbed what she could and moved to higher ground, but she lost most of her belongings.

MORE: North Bay fire chief's prediction for flooding along Russian River: 'Disaster proportions'

In the North Bay, preparations are happening for the next round of storms which could bring flooding to communities along the Russian River.

"At first I was worried about my clothes. Then it got higher. I grabbed my birth certificate and computer," she added.

Lightning lit up the night sky, bringing thunder and heavy rain.

Winds blew down a carport on Snyder Lane in Rohnert Park, damaging several cars beneath it.

In Healdsburg, a possible lighting strike split a power pole in half, cutting power to a neighborhood.

MORE: Bay Area storm live updates: CA mobilizes resources to help respond with flooding, power outages

And countless big trees fell, one which closed Westside Road in Forestville.

Not far from that, a mudslide closed parts of the same road.

And in Santa Rosa, one person was injured after a tree fell on the car they were working on.

There was flooding on Mark West Station Road in Windsor. A few brave drivers, plowed through and some cyclists included.

MORE: 'We're living a nightmare': Family mourns 2-year-old killed by falling tree during bomb cyclone

The aunt of 2-year-old Aeon, nicknamed Goldie, says he was an infectiously happy child, loved to dance, and always knew how to put a smile on the faces of his loving family. Click for a link to the family's GoFundMe.

The rain and floodwater has left many astounded.

"On the one hand, it's really good -- we need the rain. On the other hand, it's extreme from drought to fire. It's a lot to handle," said Tom Floyd from Windsor.

Firefighters say there's better news for the Russian River: the flooding forecast could be lower than first thought, but all of that remains in flux.

"River levels are forecast to change. These are dynamic storms. Levels continue to fluctuate. We're continuing to monitor that," said Karen Hancock from the Sonoma County Fire District.

MORE: Timeline: Flood Watch until Tuesday as Bay Area faces several more storms

Back at Grace Barnard's apartment, few things can be salvaged so she's looking for a new home.

But she offers this advice to others: "If anyone lives near a flood area, I'd pack a bag, because it happens too fast."

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