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California town "officially an island" as rain-swollen rivers overflow and trigger evacuations

California flooding prompts evacuations
California flooding prompts evacuations 01:21

Guerneville, Calif. — Torrential rains caused a river in northern California to overflow, leaving the town of Guerneville completely isolated. According to CBS San Francisco, the Russian River in Sonoma County flooded all of the roads leading to the town.

The river reached 42 feet Wednesday morning, which is considered to be at a major flood stage. By Wednesday night, the river could crest at 46 feet, making it the sixth highest on record. According to the National Weather Service, it won't go below the flood stage until Friday.

Guerneville "is officially an island," the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. A short time later, an official said the nearby town of Monte Rio was also isolated by floodwaters with all roads leading to it swamped.

By Tuesday night, the Napa River also overflowed. It's expected to crest later in the day. Parts of West Marin County were also flooded. Water filled yards and flowed underneath homes.

About 4,000 residents of Guerneville and two dozen other communities along the river were ordered to evacuate Tuesday evening.

There also was concern about potential mudslides in hillside areas saturated from days of downpours, and in areas scarred by 2017 wildfires.

A mudslide Tuesday near Monte Rio trapped a man and a woman before they were rescued, messy but unharmed.

"I fell into the mud when the tree fell over the top of me. It happened so fast you don't even know, you know?" Kear Koch told KGO-TV.

Elsewhere in the area, several people had to be rescued from cars stranded while motorists tried to drive through flooded roads, including a woman who was rescued by boat.

Firefighters in Monte Rio worked through the night pulling people out of cars stuck in flooded roadways and getting people out of their homes as water approached, Fire Chief Steve Baxman told the Press Democrat newspaper.

"We took 17 people out of cars and houses during the night. Too many people are driving into water," he said.

Dee Rydberg on Tuesday removed computers and printers from her business, Guerneville Graphics and Printing.

"I could not afford to buy flood insurance," she said. "So I'm packing up my stuff and getting out."

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