ST HELENA (KPIX) — The Napa River swelled to overflowing Sunday, submerging valley crossroads and inundating world-renowned vineyards.
Napa County Public Works superintendent Steve Stangland said the hardest-hit areas are what the county refers to as “the ladder” — cross streets that connect Highway 29 on the west side with the Silverado Trail on the east.
What worries crews the most is the speed of the flowing water as the river rises.
“Lodi Lane is … under about six feet of water right now,” Stangland said. “Rain gauges are recording over over five inches in 24 hours — that’s a lot of water,” he added.
Despite the road closures and one reported water rescue, Stangland said this storm has yet to become an emergency. Indeed, before the state’s years-long drought, this might have been considered relatively normal.
“This is pretty typical for road crews who are used to dealing with this. But we got kind of complacent over the last seven years,” Stangland said.
Stangland advises drivers not to attempt to cross pools of standing water.
“Turn around — don’t drown. That’s very important.” he said.