Floodwaters have yet to peak as of Tuesday morning, and roads are closed into and out of the west Sonoma towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio.
As was predicted Tuesday, the Russian River is expected to peak at around 46 feet, which meteorologist and authorities now say will occur late Wednesday night.
As ABC 7's Drew Tuma explains, if that peak is the projected 46.1 feet, that won't even be much of a record for Guerneville. The record, set in December 1955, was 49.5 feet, and the river last topped 48 feet in 1995.
The river hit 41 feet as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, as the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports, and much of downtown Guerneville is filled with waist-deep water.
Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman tells the paper that his crew rescued 17 people from cars in the area overnight, saying, "Too many people are driving into water."
Monte Rio and Guerneville are now "an island" as Highway 12 is closed due to flooding near Sebastopol, and many other roads are closed as well. Bohemian Highway shut down Tuesday due to a major mudslide that covered the roadway.
Governor Gavin Newsom has now declared a state of emergency in multiple counties due to winter weather.
As the Chronicle reports, despite an evacuation order on Tuesday, authorities say about 1800 of the area's 3700 residents remained in their homes. Spencer Crum with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office tells the paper, "If you stayed behind, you made that decision. We are hoping you made a plan for it."
A bartender at Guerneville's Rainbow Cattle Company, Ben Tacla, tells the Chron that he shut the bar at 9 p.m. last night and then got stranded trying to drive home to nearby Rio Nido when River Road was completely flooded and a tow truck had already gotten stuck. "I’ve never seen it like this,” Tacla, who's lived in the area for 14 years, tells the paper. “But I’m blessed," he says. "I called some friends and they put me up."