Saturday, December 31, 2005

Soggy in Sonoma County

No, this isn't a local lake, its the Russian River flooding, but still a few hours and feet shy of cresting. That should happen tonight sometime in the wee hours.

Hubby and I were scheduled to drive to Chico to celebrate the New Year with Cousins Lori and Bob. Anyone who has ever visited Sonoma County knows that the ways in and out are limited. Our main arterial, Hwy 101 is a traffic nightmare and to be avoided at all costs. That leaves traversing the Napa Valley at either the top (Calistoga-Middletown-Clearlake) or the bottom (Napa via Sonoma). In clear and nice weather, Calistoga is do-able but very, very curvy and not for the carsick prone. Sonoma/Napa is easily done, but feeds into I-80 near Vacaville and can also be a traffic nightmare many times.

We opted to try Calistoga and encountered flooding, mudslides and large amounts of debris in the roads. After 15 minutes of white knuckling on my part, we opted off the road and rather than head directly home, we headed up towards the Russian River to see how high the river was getting (see above).

My heart goes out to the Guerneville residents being forced out of their homes. It takes a special personality to live in West Sonoma County and they always take the brunt of our storms. Towns only 20 miles west of Santa Rosa proper can get half again as much rain as we do and the clay soil is easily saturated resulting in mudslides.

Keep the good thoughts coming for these good folks.

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