Bay Area

Evacuation orders lifted for flood areas along Russian River

GUERNEVILLE (KRON) - Authorities have lifted the evacuations orders Friday afternoon for the flood areas along the Russian River. 

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office says everyone may return to those areas, including the general public. 

Information from the Sheriff'f Office:

The evacuation orders are lifted for the flood areas along the Russian River.  Everyone may return to these areas, including the general public.  However, we respectfully request that if you do not have legitimate business in the flood areas, please do not go out there.  There is still equipment removing debris on the roads.  Just as importantly, we want to respect the residents and business owners who are starting the difficult cleanup and recovery process.

Please read the detailed health and safety instructions below from our County partners before you return.  Thank you!

Sonoma County crews and partner agencies have conducted evaluations and have determined it is safe to allow residents back into evacuation areas along the Russian River. Please be aware that roads will still have some debris. Use caution when entering these areas. If you see road crews, please make way for them to get through to keep clearing debris.

For current emergency information, please visit www.socoemergency.org. If you have questions, call 2-1-1. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS:
While crews are working to open roads, County staff have also started conducting damage assessments on an estimated 2,600 properties that have flooded. Damage assessments will be conducted today and throughout the weekend. Colored tags will be posted after assessments are complete. Green tags mean it is safe to re-enter, yellow tags indicate limited entry (tags will specify limited areas), and red tags mean the property is not safe to enter. To ensure your safety please wait until your property has been assessed before entering. 

RE-ENTRY CLEAN-UP KITS:
The American Red Cross is distributing re-entry clean-up kits to residents that include a bucket,  rags, mop, broom, and cleaning solution. A limited quantity of leather gloves is also available. Kits can be picked up at from Friday, March 1, through Sunday, March 3, from 8:00am-5:00pm at the following locations:

  • Guerneville: Guerneville Park and Ride, Highway 116
  • Forestville: Mirabel Park and Ride, Mirabel Road and River Road
  • Monte Rio: Monte Rio Community Center, 20188 Highway 116

DEBRIS DROP-OFF:
The County is setting up several locations throughout the area for residents to drop off debris. DO NOT dump debris in roadways. Dispose of debris at proper locations. Hazardous waste will not be accepted at debris drop off locations.

ROAD CLOSURES:
Many roads are still closed. Continue to observe road closures and use detour routes. Road closure information for the unincorporated areas can be found at RoadConditions.sonoma-county.org.
Call Transportation and Public Works at (707) 565-5100 to report a road obstruction from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 565-2121 after hours.

POWER OUTAGES AND SAFETY:
PG&E is actively monitoring and repairing power outages. Information about outages may be found at pge.com/#outages.
 
Don’t touch or go near fallen or dangling power lines. Call 911.
Always assume that a fallen power line is live, and follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid touching the downed line -- with your hand or an object, such as a stick, or broom.
  • Avoid touching anything in contact with a fallen power line, such as a car, object or equipment, or person.
  • Avoid driving over a fallen power line.
  • Call 911 immediately to report a fallen power line.
  • If a power line touches your car, stay inside your car. Call 911 and wait for emergency help.

LOCAL ASSISTANCE CENTER:
A Local Assistance Center (LAC) will be set up in Guerneville by Monday after a location is secured.

HEALTH INFORMATION:
It is important to protect yourself from exposure to floodwater regardless of the source of contamination. The best way to protect yourself is to stay out of the water.
If you come in contact with floodwater:

  • Wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you don’t have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
  • Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent before reusing them.

Exposure to contaminated floodwater can cause wound infections, skin rash, gastrointestinal illness and tetanus. Floodwaters contain many things that may harm health. We don’t know exactly what is in floodwater at any given point in time. Floodwater can contain:

  • Downed power lines
  • Human and livestock waste
  • Household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste (chemical, biological, and radiological)
  • Coal ash waste that can contain carcinogenic compounds such as arsenic, chromium, and mercury
  • Other contaminants that can lead to illness
  • Physical objects such as lumber, vehicles, and debris
  • Wild or stray animals such as rodents and snakes

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