“There is no beach at Goat Rock,” Baxman said, describing the coastal scene.
“The king tide is in. The bay is definitely full. It’s way up there,” said Bodega Bay fire Capt. Lou Stoerzinger. But overall, Bodega Bay escaped many of the storm‑related calls peppering the region.
“We’ve weathered out most of the storms pretty well out here,” Stoerzinger said of the week’s run of rainfall. “Few trees down or lines down.”
Tuesday was a sprint for Graton firefighters who fielded 39 calls throughout the day and night, with 37 involving the storm, Graton Fire Chief Bill Bullard said Wednesday.
They went to 32 calls of trees into power lines or roadways, and a few trees into homes without major damage. Graton volunteers also conducted three water rescues and worked on two crashes, he said.
Graton firefighters typically average a couple calls a day.
Changing weather conditions and new calculations of river flow and rainfall once again shifted today’s expected peak height of the Russian River and Sonoma County officials are reporting a 2 p.m. crest of 37.7 feet.
The focus on the crest of the river involves helping gauge flooding potential and when the river will then start to drop.
A Tuesday night prediction put the peak at almost 40 feet Wednesday night, which would have resulted in a widespread increase in flooding. That was then adjusted to a 9 a.m. peak of more than 37 inches.
The river wasn’t expected to drop below 32 feet – the point when flooding starts – until 8 p.m Thursdsay, according to current calculations.
Once the river drops back into its banks an assessment of damage will be conducted, according to a Sonoma County spokeswoman.
Sunshine seemed a bit of a shock Wednesday morning after a week of dark skies and heavy rain, however scattered showers remained in the forecast with another storm rolling in Thursday.
“Scattered showers could pop up here and there today. There’s another system Thursday so don’t let your guard down quite yet,” said Steve Anderson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Thursday’s storm should move quickly through the region, bringing up to 2 inches of rain, Anderson said. The heaviest downpours should arrive early Thursday and last into the afternoon.
“Then we’ll finally have a real bonafide break, Friday through Tuesday,” Anderson said.
But next Wednesday could bring another soaking storm. While it’s several days out, forecasts show it has potential to bring substantial rainfall.
This year has had the rainiest start in Santa Rosa since 1995. Downtown Santa Rosa has had 8.9 inches of rain, basically from three storms in the last week. A records check for more rain in the same time period leads to 1995 when 9.05 inches fell. That year stands out for it’s historic rainfall and regional flooding.
Since the storms began one week ago, most residents in Sonoma County’s populated areas have had between 6-10 inches of rain, Anderson said. The extreme rainfall record goes to the mostly unpopulated hills separating the west county and western Healdsburg with 21.23 inches. That was recorded at the isolated wather station off Mill Creek Road in an area once known as Venado.
The Russian River Wednesday morning is expected to crest at 37.6 feet, well under a prediction Tuesday night that it could reach 39.8 feet later in the day.
While that was an improvement from Tuesday’s situation, when torrential rainfall and ferocious winds pounded the county, the situation remained serious Wednesday morning.
Wednesday there were 54 roads closed in Sonoma County, mainly from flooding and mudslides, thousands of west county residents remained without power and low‑lying areas of the Russian River remained flooded.