Hearty Guerneville residents take to canoes to paddle down flooded streets along Russian River
GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (KTVU) - When the rain pours and the streets flood in northern wine country along the Russian River, the residents don't fret, they don't fear, they don't barricade themselves indoors.
Instead, longtime dwellers in western Sonoma County's Guerneville, like Bruce MacDonnell pull out their canoes. Or in his case, a drift boat.
On Friday, the rainstorm veteran paddled down Neely Road, the site of annual flooding, ferrying friends and neighbors where they needed to go.
He stopped to pick up Annie Lovell, who was on her way to weekly ukulele group. He offered Lovell a stepladder and a short piggy back ride so she wouldn't have to get her feet wet getting into his boat.
"Oh, Bruce, you're the best," she said, while KTVU rode along in the canoe and got a firsthand look at life in the flood zone.
Russian River passes flood stage
The Russian River passed its flood stage of 32 feet Thursday night, causing neighborhoods to be waterlogged -- something longtime residents are well-versed in.
Lovell said that after the rains two years ago, she knew to move all her belongings to higher ground. "My backyard is a complete lake," she said.
And while she is used to the storms, she said she certainly appreciated her friend's personal transportation service.
"I'll be greeted with big arms," she said of her friends in the ukulele service. "They'll know what I did to get here."