Another New Year's Eve Freshet

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Before, during, and after the flood, residents talked of little else. This was big news. The Press Democrat headlines for the event encapsulated the human drama: from the anxious preparations, through the flood and mud, to the cleanup and tally. Here’s how it ran.

December 28, 2005

  • Russian River Expected to Crest Tonight 4 Feet Above Flood Stage: Floods, Wind, Mudslides -- and More on the Way. by Guy Kovner, Randi Rossmann and Mike Geniella

December 29, 2005

  • Wary Residents Gear Up for Next Onslaught. by Paul Payne
  • Bracing for Weekend Flood: Rain eases, keeping river in check, but residents, officials await new storm. by Guy KovnerThe view from Occidental Road bridge on December 28, 2005

December 30, 2005

  • High (and Dry?) Above River: Residents who took advantage of FEMA program to elevate Russian River homes say they’re ready for rising water. by Paul Payne
  • Forecast Renews Flood Fears: SR Predicted to Get 4 Inches of Rain. by Guy Kovner
  • Residents of Petaluma Mobile Home Park Wary of Flooding. by Jose L. Sanchez Jr.

December 31, 2005

  • Near-Record Crest for River, Evacuations Likely Today: Break in rain expected tonight but another storm coming Sunday. by Guy Kovner
  • California Storm Prompts Evacuation Plea. by Paul Elias
  • Sonoma County Fairgrounds to be Emergency Shelter
  • Red Cross Opens Shelters for Northbay Storm Victims. by Robert Digitale
  • Flooded Neighborhood Reminds Residents of 1986 Deluge. by Robert Digitale and Paul Payne

January 1, 2006

  • Resignation Grips Guerneville as River Rises: Residents used to vagaries of nature prepare for deluge with mixture of determination, awe. by Guy Kovner
  • Rain’s Return Forces Difficult Decisions: While about 60% of Russian River residents hunker down, others evacuate. by Kerry Benefield
  • Mudslide Destroys House, Damages Two in SR. by Guy Kovner
  • Petaluma River Floods Auto Mall, Outlet Mall: Water gets into homes, businesses; flood control project may be mixed blessing. by Jose L. Sanchez Jr.
  • Officials Warn some SR Residents to Purify Well Water. by Bleys W. Rose
  • 200 Mendocino County Homes Evacuated in Storm. by Glenda Anderson
  • Hundreds of Napa Valley Residents Flee Flooding: 33,000 acres underwater, 1,000 homes damaged, roads closed in ‘historic’ storm. by Derek J. Moore
  • Napa Hit Hardest: Flooding on Russian, Napa Rivers ushers in 2006; traffic tied in knots. by Bleys W. Rose

January 2, 2006

  • Guerneville Still Cut Off: Russian River floodwaters slow to drop. by Erin Allday
  • Difficult Choice: Stay or Evacuate? by Kerry Benefield
  • Hopland Flooding Worst in 40 Years: Small town reeling after school, market damaged by worse flooding in decades. by Mike Geniella
  • Napa Awash in Mud After Storm: In the aftermath of worst flooding many residents can remember, city looks at $70 million damage. by George Lauer
  • 12 P.M. Russian River Dropping Quickly
  • Wet Ending: New Year’s Eve flood was bad, but could have been much worse

January 3, 2006

  • Flood Damages Hit $57 Million: Schwarzenegger declares state of emergency; Russian River falling below flood stage. by Guy Kovner
  • Storm Damages Geyserville Bridge: Hwy. 128 span over Russian River leaning. by Bob Norberg
  • Flooding Closes Geyserville, Guerneville, Cazadero Schools
  • North Bay Businesses Dry Out. by Carol Benfell
  • The Russian River’s Relatively Nice Flood Chris Smith
  • Dam At Lake Mendocino Pivotal in Flood Control. by  Mike Geniella

January 4, 2006

  • Damage At $300 Million: Toll in 4 counties likely to rise; crews rush to fix 101 near Cotati. by Katy Hillenmeyer
  • As Water Recedes, Claims Pour In: Insurance adjusters fanning out throughout North Coast to assess flood damage. by Mary Fricker
  • Seeking Aid After the Storms: Residents fill county’s assistance center in hopes of receiving food, shelter. by Paul Payne
  • Officials Examine Sewage Systems for Leaks During Flood
  • Flood Closes Sonoma Valley High for Week
  • Flood Cleanup: Sewage still spills from Sebastopol into Laguna. by Guy Kovner
  • Flood Damage Keeps Hopland School Shut: Students from closed campus will be bused to classes in Ukiah. by Mike Geniella
  • Recovery: Patience is Key as North Coast Deals with Storm Aftermath

January 5, 2006

  • County’s Storm Damage Toll Soars: Officials say estimate of $100.2 million expected to climb. by Bleys W. Rose
  • $150,000 Flood Damage to Solar Living Center. by Mike Geniella
  • Water Contamination Possible: Potential bacteria-laden discharges prompt checks of sewage treatment systems. by Mike McCoy
  • Petaluma Outlets Stay Shut: Some stores need new interiors. by Michael Coit
  • Guerneville Apartments Red-Tagged as Unsafe: People seeking shelter as county says 11 units uninhabitable. by Jeremy Hay
  • River Residents Say Some Folks Took Advantage During Flood. by Paul Payne
  • Frightening Situation. by Meredith Morris, Let the public speak
  • Flood Shows Why Laguna Plan is Key. by Dan Schurman and Anna Warwick Sears, Let the public speak

January 6, 2006

  • Storm is County’s Most Expensive : Roads sustain $40.1 million in damage; Total at $100.2 Million. by Guy Kovner
  • Flooding Occurred in Unexpected Places: New flood walls worked, but northern areas, downtown hit harder than usual. by Tobias Young
  • County Parks Staff: Please Stay Home Until Flood Cleanup Finished: Slippery trails, hazardous debris, unstable trees pose risk. by Martin Espinoza
  • Council Split on Flood-Control Plans: Calls for more limits on development countered by desire to wait for analysis. by Jose L. Sanchez Jr.
  • Russian River Flood Sweeps Anything That Floats to Jenner and the Pacific Chris Coursey
  • Information is Key to Flood Answers

January 7, 2006

  • Flood Control: Truth Is, Damage From Storms Could Have Been Much Worse
  • Petaluma Poor Struggle to Recover From New Year’s Eve Flood: Quarter-mile strip of homes, apartments near Petaluma River hard hit by runaway water. by Jose Sanchez Jr., Guy Kovner and Martin Espinoza
  • Permanent Hwy. 101 Fix Planned: Caltrans to repair slippage in southbound Cotati lane with steel curtain driven into ground. by Guy Kovner
  • Four-Legged Flood Victims Find Refuges From Storm. by Guy Kovner

January 8, 2006

  • How to Tame a River: Guerneville, Petaluma and Napa each faced the same problem, but have taken three very different approaches. How did they fare?
  • Napa’s “Living River” Gets Mixed Reviews : Model project mitigated damage but won’t be completed until 2011. by Derek J. Moore.
  • Petaluma Wall Keeps Payran Area High, Dry: Steel-lined channel spares neighborhood. by Jose L. Sanchez Jr.
  • County Parks: Mud, Debris Greet Returning Visitors. by Jeremy Hay.
  • Money Runs Out Just as Russian River Crests: 205 homes raised above flood level escape damage but 400 others still at risk. by Bleys W. Rose and Jeremy Hay.
  • Storms Renew RP Casino Questions: Opponents to Graton Rancheria resort say building on wetlands a mistake, would cause more runoff. by Clark Mason.
  • Flood Potentials Scott Hess.  Let the public speak.

January 9, 2006

  • Ranking Floods a Murky Subject: Before automatic gauges, measuring River peaks lacked consistency. by Bob Norberg.
  • Archaeologists Salvage Unearthed Artifacts. by Bob Norberg

January 10, 2006

  • Santa Rosa Drainage. by Betsy Harrell, Let the public speak.

January 11, 2006

  • Agricultural Flood Damage At $40 Million. by Tim Tesconi.