Evacuated Guerneville Residents Wait For Russian River To Recede

GUERNEVILLE (CBS SF) — Some 1,700 people in Guerneville remained under evacuation orders Wednesday as residents waited to see when flood waters from the Russian River might recede after the latest storm.

Raw Video: Drone Footage Of Guerneville Flooding

The National Guard arrived in Guerneville Wednesday morning, to help with the rescue effort.  Floodwaters had trapped a man in his house for hours and he needed medical attention because of a heart condition.

Parts of Neely Road have been under water since the Russian River overflowed its banks Sunday night. On Tuesday evening, a truck became stranded in the high waters, requiring rescue by the Guerneville Fire Department.

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Block after block in Guerneville looks like fingers of a lake, with homes, businesses and apartment buildings standing as islands in between stretches of water.

Many roadways have been made impassible.

“I actually drove through it, but my car started sputtering,” said Guerneville resident Alison Cassatt.

Cassatt was forced to abandoning her car for a kayak to get home from work.

“I called the guys and they picked me up in the canoe,” explained Cassatt.

Hap Smith’s house is usually on the Russian River. As of Wednesday, it’s in it.

Like many homeowners here in Guerneville, Smith raised his home up after previous floods. After the latest rains, a few feet of river water got inside the basement.

But otherwise, he said there wasn’t too much damage.

“Well, if it had gone another 6 feet higher, it would have gotten into the electricity. And that would have been an issue,” said Smith.

The Russian River rose to 37.6 feet Wednesday morning. It crested at about 37.7 feet Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Several homes are under water, as is Steve Gerst’s storage shed. He estimates the water around the structure is about six feet deep.

“This second blast kinda took me by surprise,” said Gerst. “I thought we were done with it and it just came right back.”

Stores are swamped along river road. Many were without power and closed for business. But most of the locals still weren’t shocked by the January flood.

“Most people prepare themselves pretty good,” said Guerneville resident Kevin Throop. “But still, there’s a lot of damage, no matter what.”

The water will soon start to recede and, perhaps by Thursday, the cleanup process and damage assessment will begin.

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