People paddle a boat through a flooded neighborhood on February 27, 2019 in Guerneville, California (JUSTIN SULLIVAN)
Los Angeles (AFP) – Two California towns have been turned into islands as a river swollen to its highest level in a quarter century flooded some 2,000 homes and forced evacuations.
The record-breaking floodwaters from the Russian River on Wednesday cut off the wine-country towns of Monte Rio and Guerneville, located in northern California.
“Guerneville is land locked. You cannot get into or out of town,” the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Guerneville is officially an island.”
Residents of the town, many of whom ignored orders to evacuate, were forced to use kayaks and canoes to ride out the flood waters — some as high as eight feet.
The water was slowly receding on Thursday but the sheriff’s office said access to the town would not be possible for up to two days.
The National Guard was called in to help as some people got trapped by mudslides or the rising waters.
The National Weather Service said another storm was set to hammer the region this weekend with heavy rain and mountain snow expected on Saturday.
California has had one of the wettest and coldest winters in years with conditions made worse in areas scorched by fires and prone to dangerous mudslides.
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