FPA Blog

County of Sonoma Town Hall Meeting

Community Flood Recovery

News from Supervisor Lynda Hopkins

When: Sunday, March 3, 2019
Time: 2-4 PM
Where: El Molino High School Gym, Forestville
The meeting will allow community members and residents affected by the floods to obtain information related to flood recovery and clean up. Speakers will include:

  • Chair David Rabbitt
  • Supervisor Lynda Hopkins
  • Chris Godley, Emergency Management Director
  • Mike Nicholls, Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council Chair
  • Permit Sonoma
  • County Department of Transportation and Public Works
  • Sonoma County Sheriff Department
  • Sonoma County Department of Health
  • Cal-OES

Additional organizations and resources, including AT&T, PG&E, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, United Policyholders, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and California HOPE will be available for area residents.

More Flood Info News from Supervisor Lynda Hopkins

Local Assistance Center to open Sunday

We’ve been hard at work at the County to open up resources for lower Russian River residents. To help homeowners and renters with next steps regarding storm-related property damage and recovery, Sonoma County will open a Local Assistance Center (LAC) from 12 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, March 3, at the former Bank of America Building, 16390 Main Street in Guerneville. The LAC will remain open through Thursday, March 7. Daily hours will be:

  • Monday, March 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 6, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 7, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Several government agencies and nonprofits will answer questions, offer resources and take applications for various services. All Sonoma County residents can receive services regardless of immigration status.

The agencies at the LAC include:

  • Permit Sonoma for over-the-counter permits for some repairs and help to begin the permit process for structural work and building safety
  • County of Sonoma Human Services Department will take applications for CalFresh food benefits and Medi-Cal
  • County of Sonoma Health Department, covering Animal Services, Environmental Health and Behavioral Health
  • Department of Motor Vehicles for those who lost identification and driver licenses
  • California Office of Emergency Services
  • Community Development Commission for housing issues
  • Employment Development Department for help with unemployment
  • Nonprofits, including the American Red Cross and Salvation Army

The LAC will also have information on topics related to the flood:

  • Directions for where to pick-up re-entry clean-up kits with cleaning tools and supplies (See below for additional information on clean-up kits)
  • Debris drop-off locations for non-hazardous waste, and dates and times for hazardous waste drop offs
  • Important health and safety information

Re-Entry and Clean Up:

Next Steps for Flood Recovery

Damage Assessment
Re-entry into the Lower Russian River area began around 12:30 on Friday afternoon. While county crews worked to re-open roads, Permit Sonoma teams started to conduct damages assessments on the 2,600 properties that sustained flood damage. These assessments will continue throughout the weekend.

Color-coded tags will be posted on buildings after assessments are complete.

GREEN tags mean the building is safe to enter.
YELLOW tags indicate limited entry to the building.
RED tags mean the property is not safe to enter.

To ensure your safety, please wait until your property has been assessed before entering. I know it’s scary and horrible and monstrous to have a bunch of government type people poking around your property. Let’s be honest. Nobody wants the government up in their business, let alone after a major disaster. But I am here to say: if they ask you questions, please talk to FEMA and Cal-OES. The damage estimates they come up with will determine whether and what kind of help we get from the federal and state government. So…don’t be shy about telling officials that your repairs might be expensive. (After all, they’re not going to be billing you.) Instead, these estimates will be used to determine whether our disaster is big enough (read: expensive enough) to qualify for serious help.

Clean-up Kits
The American Red Cross is distributing re-entry clean-up kits that include:

  • A bucket
  • Rags
  • A mop
  • A broom
  • Cleaning solution

A limited quantity of leather gloves is also available. Kits can be picked up Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Guerneville: Guerneville Park and Ride, Highway 116
  • Forestville: Mirabel Park and Ride, Mirabel and River Road
  • Monte Rio: Monte Rio Community Center

Debris Boxes and Dumpsters
The county is setting up several locations for debris drop off. We ask that you do not dump debris in the roadways. Debris boxes will be available Saturday, March 2 through Monday, March 4. Debris box locations include:

  • Forestville: Mirabel Park and Ride
  • Monte Rio: Monte Rio Park and Recreation River Access
  • Guerneville: Drake and Neeley
  • Guerneville: Guerneville Park and Ride

We will continue to provide updates on debris boxes and dumpsters as we can. Please note a Recology liaison will attend Sunday’s community meeting at El Molino High School and will be able to answer additional questions.

Property Value
Please note that calamities, such as floods, can affect the value of your home and property. The County Assessor’s Office has forms available that you can file for reassessment of your property.

What to do after a flood:

The First 24 Hours

If we learned anything from rebuild of the October 2017 firestorms, it’s that taking a few steps within the first 24 hours of experiencing a natural disaster can go a long ways in the long-term recovery process. Please consider following these tips:

  1. Check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks and holes before entering your home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric and sewer lines.
  2. Take pictures and/or video before you remove any water or make any repairs. Digital versions are the best, because they can be stored electronically and easily copied. If you start removing water or making repairs before photographing the damage, you could potentially decrease the extent of any insurance coverage.
  3. Protect your health by wearing waders or hip- or waist-high waterproof boots and rubber gloves to remove water-damaged possessions. Remember that the water could contain chemicals, human and animal waste and other contaminants. As such, it is important to throw out any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
  4. Call your insurance company. While groundwater flood damage typically isn’t covered by conventional homeowners insurance policies, you can talk to your insurer about the extent of your coverage.
  5. Remove the water once you get the OK from your insurer. Sump pumps, available at most hardware or home supply stores, and wet vacs are the best tools for doing so.
  6. Mitigate mold damage quickly. Mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours of a flood, so it is important to remove wet contents, including bedding and carpeting, quickly.
  7. Make sure to secure your property, too. The Sheriff’s Department is on the lookout for looters and the District’s Attorney will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Contact Supervisor Lynda Hopkins to get on her mailing list:  lynda.hopkins@sonoma-county.org

Board Meetings

• 1st Tuesday of mo.
• 5:30 – 7:30 PM
• In-Person at:
6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville
• Via Zoom: Get Link
• For more info, contact:
Board President,
Lucy Hardcastle
Everyone welcome.