The Russian River in Guerneville swelled early Wednesday morning amid a torrent of rain.
The river rose above its flood stage level of 32 feet and reached a peak of 34.4 feet at about 6 a.m.. The waterway is now beginning to drop.
The Russian River has a long history of spilling over its banks in Guerneville and most recently caused widespread flooding and damage when it rose about 37 feet in January. This time the situation isn’t nearly as severe, yet still at 34 feet the river is causing moderate flooding in the lowest sections of Guerneville and Monte Rio.
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“Thirty-five feet is really the critical level where you get major problems,” said Brett Whitin, a hydrologic forecaster with the California-Nevada River Forecast Center. “This time it didn’t get that high.”
About three inches of rain has fallen around Guerneville in the past 48 hours and another storm is expected to hit Thursday morning.
“Down at Guerneville we’ll see another rise,” Whitin said. “The river will rise again but not supposed to get as high as it did today.”