FORESTVILLE, Calif. (KTVU - Due to Russian River flooding, Guerneville is not accessible. The damage it will suffer will be revealed Thursday after the river crests. Just up the river, Forestville is accessible. And while much of it will remain intact, the part along the river is getting whacked.
River Road is just that: A river. Part of Forestville is submerged and continues to sink as the usually docile Russian River continues to rise. "It's getting deeper by the minute. It wasn't even over the tires last time we came through here 20 minutes ago," said Forestville resident Brad Lepori who let us ride along in his high-wheel, high-body pickup truck Wednesday.
On River Road you'll see mostly kayaks and boats, or an occasional National Guard high body truck, for either transportation or rescue. You see lots of floating debris and quite a number of semi-submerged homes, vehicles and trailers that will need a lot of work or scrapping when this is all over.
The charming old riverside hamlet has faced repeated floods for generations, going back well over a century. Brad Smith has lived here for 35 years. "I don't think it's going to be as serious as our '86 and the '95 floods were," said Smith. But he says he senses that what's happening now with the weather here is different than before.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent of the scientists all over the world think that climate changes is, in fact, a fact," said Smith. A neighbor agrees.
"And with the wildfires going on in this state, we've just been hammered and the rain coming all at once as it does, instead of over a period of time, we just get it all at once," said resident Jill Crouchet.
A tried and tested procedure over generations here along the river has been: When the river goes up, make sure your stuff goes up higher if possible. And, it happened again. River forecasts are critical here.
"It will tell us that it will crest at 39 feet at this time of day and that's it. You got to be out before," said Forestville trailer park resident Dan Braunberger.
All of the riverside trailer park residents relocated their homes to higher ground and there's plenty of rainy season left. "It's probably going to happen in another week. This is the second time this year so. Yeah. I've done it so many times, it's like normal," said Mr. Braunberger.
The water here will crest just before isolated Guerneville will at about 9 pm.