May rain disrupts baseball, grape-growing in North Bay

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- With rooster tails shooting off tires on the road and windshield wipers working hard, Wednesday's mid-May commute in Sonoma County looked more like January - And, it wasn't just the roads!

People in North Bay got out their umbrellas, beanies, and galoshes. There were even lines for movie matinees at the Roxy Theater in Santa Rosa.

"Normally we'd be at home maybe barbecuing, kicking back, relaxing, enjoying the sun. It's raining, so now we gotta go inside, to the Roxy Theatre," said Santa Rosa resident, Jack Salerno.

At Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, besides puddles in the infield, the baseball fields were empty.

"It's just too wet everywhere," said Gil Lemmon, the commissioner of athletics for CIF-North Coast Section. He says 18 championship baseball and softball games were cancelled in the North Bay and East Bay Wednesday. He says Thursday's games have also been postponed.

"After a hard year of air quality issues in the fall and we had some pretty heavy rains during our winter championships and during the spring season here, we've had a lot of rain and we've had a lot of game cancellations. So now to get into our championships in May, when you think the weather is going to be great, it's disappointing and I know it's really disappointing to our schools," said Lemmon.

"These rains are really late for us... this is pinot noir and it's going through bloom right now," explained Tony Bugica, showing us green buds on a vine in Windsor. Bugica is a vineyard manager with Atlas Vineyard Management. He says this large amount of rain in May has the potential to disrupt the berry-forming process on some vines, ultimately resulting in fewer grapes.

"Right now with the rain, there's also problems with mildew and Botrytis could occur and that also could affect the crop in the long run, which is not a good thing for the farmers or the wineries at that."

Buciga says they should know in the next three weeks how this series of rain storms will affect the grapes.

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