March 1, 2019 Sonoma County Flood Update
We are closely following the flooding happening throughout the county, and want to share some updates with you about a number of nonprofits who are supporting the relief effort, or who themselves have been impacted.
This is an evolving situation, as we learn more we will update this website. While the scope of the disaster remains unclear, we are seeing reports that over 2,000 buildings have been flooded in the Guerneville area. Many people in our community will be needing support to recover. The following is an initial list of organizations in the west county who have been impacted by the floods, or are responding to support flood victims.
United Way of the Wine Country has launched a Flood Recovery and Wellness Fund. The purpose of the fund will be to support flood survivors to get back on their feet. All funds raised will be used to support flood relief through agency partners in the region. Flooding this week caused an estimated $155 million in damage. There is damage to an estimated 2,600 properties. About 1,900 homes were affected, with 1,760 sustaining major damage. In addition, an estimated 578 businesses were impacted, forcing many to consider whether to reopen.
Lisa Carreño, President/CEO, advised: “The extent of the recent flooding and its impact on families, especially low- and moderate-income families along the Russian River, Laguna de Santa Rosa, and small businesses in the region demand our attention. Every family and every business matters as we recover and rebuild from fire and flooding. We need to rally around them, because our recovery will be stronger if we can rebuild together.”
“Once the damage has been assessed and the needs are clearer, UWWC will develop our funding strategy based on the amount of funding that we are able to secure,” reported Jennifer O’Donnell, Executive Vice-President, who has been overseeing United Way’s fire relief grants to individuals, neighborhoods and other strategic partners since 2017.
Note: for CFSC donors wishing to make a grant to the United Way, please use this link to submit a grant recommendation via your Giving Center account.
West County Community Services: With three of five offices underwater in Guerneville and Sebastopol, WCCS moved the Guerneville shelter to Santa Rosa and with our County partners sheltered more than 100 people, activated our evacuation plan at our housing project in Sebastopol (all homeless housing units were towed to safety and were saved) and are offering counseling and mental health support to our neighbors. But with two behavioral health sites, and community services office at the Park Village housing project under two feet of water, WCCS needs support to help clean up, provide transitional housing to less fortunate clients and provide the cost-effective services necessary (mental health, transportation) to keep our vulnerable neighbors stable and moving forward. Follow their facebook page for updates.
Note: for CFSC donors wishing to make a grant to West County Community Services, please use this link to submit a grant recommendation via your Giving Center account.
West County Health Centers sustained damage to their administration building. West County Health Centers’ mission is to provide comprehensive, quality, and accessible health care services to the communities of western Sonoma County. After this latest natural disaster, WCHC is committed to serving our community and supporting its patients, 1,800 of which have been directly affected by the flooding.
Note: for CFSC donors wishing to make a grant to West County Health Centers, please use this link to submit a grant recommendation via your Giving Center account.
Clean River Alliance is planning a series of emergency beach cleanups in March, to ensure that trash and debris from the flood does not become embedded in the beaches or washed out to the ocean.
Note: for CFSC donors wishing to make a grant to Clean River Alliance, please use this link to submit a grant recommendation via your Giving Center account.
Dogma Animal Rescue is a small volunteer run animal rescue in Sebastopol. Their storage with all of their crates, tents, food, puppypads, and adoption supplies was flooded. They are supporting their network of animal foster parents whose homes were impacted by the flooding.
River to Coast Children’s Services‘ offices were safe from flooding, but many of the families they support with subsidized childcare, diapers, baby formula, food, and other basic needs, have been impacted and will need additional financial support to replace lost items.
Food for Thought‘s offices were safe from flooding. For clients who lost food or suffered flood damage in their homes, they are offering support with replacing food items, down to the condiments. They are also serving additional meals at their site in Forestville for people who have been evacuated.
American Red Cross – The Red Cross provides safe refuge, food, relief supplies, health services and comfort to families in need.
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods – State Parks in the Russian River area experienced significant slides and a number of down trees within the parks. While State Park volunteer trail crews and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods staff were been able to handle the down trees and plugged culverts, the slides are a different story. Currently, State Parks is assessing the damage, especially to the roads that could be in jeopardy in the some areas. The roads most impacted are used to access Bullfrog Pond Campground and the Backcountry camping sites. Stewards operates these camping areas and relies on the revenue to keep the Austin Creek State Recreation Area open and maintained. This is the time of year when the campground starts booking up on the weekends. State Parks has asked Stewards to close the campground until further assessment can take place to ensure the safety of park visitors.
Sebastopol Community Cultural Center – the Center was damaged by flooding and classes have been cancelled or relocated while they fundraise to renovate the building. The Center serves greater west county with over 70 classes a week, 30 world class concerts a year and gathering spaces for our special community events like weddings and birthday parties, as well as community meetings like City Council meetings and Town Halls.