Historic rainfall hit Santa Rosa. Healdsburg declared a state of emergency after its wastewater treatment plant flooded. Graton firefighters beat their own record for most water rescues in a 24-hour period. Here’s a breakdown of how major Sonoma County cities and towns were affected by the two-day storm and historic flood.
Santa Rosa: The city Tuesday recorded the heaviest one-day rainfall, 5.66 inches, since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1902. That surpassed the previous single-day record of 5.23 inches on Dec. 19, 1981.
The rainfall didn’t cause too many problems in the city, though, Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Ken Sebastiani said. He said some outlying areas like Willowside, Sanford and Todd Road saw flooding but the city itself did not.
“The infrastructure within Santa Rosa is pretty solid to get water out, so we didn’t have a lot of water-related issues,” Sebastiani said, though he did note there were “some pretty good fender-benders on the freeway.”
Graton: Graton firefighters beat their own record for most water rescues, 10, in the 24 hours from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning.
Most of the rescues occurred on Green Valley, Graton and Sanford roads and Railroad Avenue, near Atascadero Creek, which spilled over its banks.
The first rescue was also the most dangerous, Graton Fire Chief Bill Bullard said. He said a man’s Toyota Prius floated into a ditch when the driver tried to cross deep water on Graton Road. When firefighters arrived, the man was holding onto his vehicle, trying not to be swept away.
Reached Wednesday evening, Bullard said there had been no further rescues since early Wednesday morning, and firefighters were taking a much-needed break before heading back out. The main issue in Graton Wednesday night, he said, was a mudslide on Occidental Road near Coffee Lane, though the road was still passable.
Forestville: Like Graton, Forestville was completely inaccessible Wednesday night, said deputy incident commander Shepley Schroth-Cary. Forestville residents who remained in the city had to rely on boats or National Guard high-water vehicles to ferry them out, he said.
“If they’re stuck, they’re stuck, and they’re requiring National Guard trucks or boats to go in and get them out,” he said. “People who didn’t heed the evacuation order or got into a predicament, that’s basically how we’ve spent our day, is getting those people out.”
About 250 customers in the Forestville area lost gas service Wednesday, PG&E said. It was not expected to be turned back on Wednesday night, and a PG&E spokeswoman cautioned residents against trying to turn gas back on themselves.
Sebastopol: Major flooding closed almost all the roads leaving Sebastopol Tuesday night, stretching into Wednesday and causing major traffic jams on Highway 116 South, the only way in or out of the city. It remained Sebastopol’s only access route Wednesday night, with none of the closed roads reopened.
Floodwater inundated the city, rising halfway up the gas pumps at a Chevron station on the east side of town. The Barlow community market also was flooded, causing heavy damage to businesses in the area. An emergency shelter established at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts took in dozens of displaced residents Wednesday.
Petaluma: Petaluma Police Department said flooding stranded residents of the Leisure Lake Village Mobile Park, off Highway 101 just north of Old Redwood Highway.