SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A potent winter storm battered Sonoma County early Sunday, dumping more than 3 inches of rain in Santa Rosa, flooding local roadways, triggering a flash flood warning and forcing crews to use a rubber boat to rescue of a family near Pengrove.

The National Weather Service said the Willow Brook at Pengrove Park crested over its 58.7-foot flood stage at 62.9 feet at around 8 a.m. with heavy rain still pounding the area.

willow brook Storm Triggers Widespread Flooding In Sonoma County

Along the Old Redwood Highway, a firefighters rescued two adults stranded by flood waters in a mobile home after they first refused to leave an hour earlier. The water rose approx 2 1/2 feet in 45 minutes, causing them to call 911 a second time.

Meanwhile, the weather service issued a flash flood warning for residents living near creeks and rivers for several Sonoma County communities including Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Cotati and Sonoma.

The California Highway Patrol also reported Sunday morning that flooding onto the roadway had closed northbound Highway 101 just north of Windsor. Flood waters also forced Caltrans to close Highway 128 North of Calistoga as it headed from Napa into Sonoma County.

The National Weather Service said stream gauges around the county had detected rapidly rising waters in local waterways. Of particular concern was in the area of Laguna de Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Creek in Sonoma Valley.

By 9:30 a.m., forecasters reported, Laguna de Santa Rosa had soared over its 82-foot flood stage to 86.67 feet.

Nearby, Copeland Creek also went over its banks cresting at 9.3 feet — more than 2 feet over flood stage.

copeland creek flooding photo by joe parker Storm Triggers Widespread Flooding In Sonoma County

In Rohnert Park, Hinebaugh Creek went over its banks trapping two cars in deep water near Redwood Dr. and the Rohnert Park Expressway.

hinebaugh creek photo by joe parker Storm Triggers Widespread Flooding In Sonoma County

The creeks and streams were being filled by heavy rains. The weather service said more than 3 inches had fallen in Santa Rosa overnight with Vernado getting 7 inches as of early Sunday.


Forecasters predicted flooding was already happening and more rain was on the way. The warning was scheduled to last until at least 11:15 a.m.

A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property, according to the weather service.


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