GUERNEVILLE, Calif. -- 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.
Evacuation orders were lifted and all roads into the towns were opened Friday. Business owners and others returned to inspect the damage.
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