Before and After: The Russian River Floods at Monte Rio

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KQED reporter Molly Peterson made her way past flooded roads and slides to make it to the Russian River town of Monte Rio early Wednesday afternoon. Her mission was to talk to the town's longtime fire chief and get an on-the-ground look at a town that was more or less isolated by the river's rapid rise.

"The people I talked to, this wasn't their first rodeo," Molly told KQED host Mina Kim later. "They've got some experience preparing for floods and digging themselves out. ... It was a nonchalant atmosphere, frankly, in downtown Monte Rio."

But the rest of us may not be old hands at having a river rise up and take over your community. High water running fast? It's impressive.

Before she left town, Molly stopped to shoot a short video of the flood from Moscow Road, a little ways off Main Street, on the river's south bank.


Her viewpoint of the turbulent current nearly perfectly matched one depicted in a Google Streetview image taken in June 2016. That older image shows the river in the aspect that's familiar to summertime visitors -- a rather placid stream that invites people to hang out on the beach.

Above, the before and after. Below, the video version of what she saw: