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California river floods

Associated Press
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Scott Heemstra takes Veronica Burdette out of the flood zone as floodwaters rise along Mill Street in Guerneville, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
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Flood waters from the Russian River partially submerge a vineyard near Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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A man uses a paddle board to make his way through the flooded Barlow Market District on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Sebastopol, Calif.
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Flood waters from the Russian River partially submerge properties in Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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People take their boats into the water on the flooded River Road in Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Floodwaters cut off the towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio and inundated several other communities.
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Flood waters from the Russian River partially submerge properties in Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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Thomas McCarthy, 10, looks from his canoe passing an RV submerged in the flood waters of the Russian River in Forestville, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
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River Road, center, is flooded by the Russian River, right, in Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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A woman with a dog maneuvers a kayak on a flooded street in Guerneville, north of San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
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Cheryl Hughes looks out of her window of her home that is surrounded by flood waters of the Russian River in Forestville, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
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Flood waters from the Russian River partially submerge properties in Guerneville, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.
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Jonathan Von Renner checks on his son Jonathan Jr., and friend Emilio Ontivares in Guerneville, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
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Residents head back to their home after the road became impassable to most vehicles, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Guerneville, Calif.

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A two-day winter storm rendered two Northern California communities reachable only by boat.

The rain-swollen Russian River reached nearly 46 feet (14 meters) Wednesday night, its highest level in more than 20 years. About 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures were flooded by water up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) deep.

In downtown Guerneville, part of Sonoma County’s famed wine country and a popular tourist destination, some residents paddled kayaks, canoes and rowboats along watery streets.

In Monte Rio, the first story of a hotel was almost completely under water. Drone video showed only the tops of white-trimmed doors above a swirling river of brown water.

Residents awoke Thursday to sunshine and began assessing the damage while the water receded slowly.

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