Sonoma County begins flood recovery after massive storm

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Flood survivors on the Russian River are cleaning up and moving on this weekend after water inundated homes and businesses. There's a lot of mess to deal with.

The water rose about six feet at Brad & Christo's house in Forestville. Their downstairs was totally underwater.

RELATED: Sonoma County estimates $155M in flood damages after massive storm

A fan is working overtime on the first floor trying to dry everything out. The couple lost a lot.

"Artwork that was downstairs, the fridge and freezer turned upside down floating," said Christo.

On Wednesday, high water stretched as far as you could see, their car was replaced by a trusty canoe.

Friends were stopping by with food and supplies. The couple's home has been yellow-tagged which means they have restricted use of the home for now.

RELATED: How bad was the Russian River flooding? Guerneville residents get first look

Ziad Doumani was tossing out waterlogged insulation and everything else that got wet in the flood. Unfortunately, that 's just about everything in his house.

"I'm 6 feet tall, the water was another couple of feet above my head, I canoed in the other day," said Doumani.

In Sebastopol, there was a big mess to clean up inside The Barlow shopping district, a collection of high-end shops and eateries. Many stores had extensive flood damage.

RELATED: Sebastopol fills with flood water, some now calling it 'Sebasto-pool'

Across Sonoma County, friends and neighbors are stepping up and pitching in to help.

"There's a bigger sense of community now. I met neighbors I never knew, making sure everyone's ok," said Forestville resident Matt Power.

This weekend, The Red Cross was distributing free clean-up kits to people containing a bucket, mop, and bleach.

Today a community recovery meeting will be held by Sonoma County officials in Forestville. It will help residents with questions about how to receive flood assistance. The meeting will be held at El Molino High School from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

See more articles and videos about the storm.
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