Napa man killed, roads closed by weekend storms
THE INTERSECTION of Highways 12 and 121 was flooded both Saturday and Sunday.
A Napa man was killed in a two-car auto accident Saturday afternoon on rain-slicked Highway 121, and continuing storms shut down Broadway and the intersection of Highways 12 and 121 on Sunday.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Saturday at about 2:25 p.m., a 1976 Porsche driven by Mark Heinemann, 50, of Napa, was southbound on Highway 121 near Viansa Winery. Heinemann entered a curve, crossed over the double yellow line, overcorrected and was hit broadside by a 2002 Chrysler driven by Barbara Knego, 83, of San Francisco.
Heinemann died at the scene. A passenger in Heinemann’s car, his 15-year-old daughter, Alexa Heinemann, was airlifted to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa with a bruised lung. Knego was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital complaining of chest and knee pain.
Sunday, the continuing deluge that has swamped Sonoma County all weekend blocked traffic at the south end of the Valley when the Schellville
intersection of Highways 12 and 121 became a river and Broadway was blocked for hours by a fallen limb that brought down power lines.
The falling eucalyptus limb brought down power lines and snapped off the top of a power pole, which had to be replaced before the lines could be restrung.
Later Sunday morning, the intersection of Highways 12 and 121 by the Schell-Vista fire station was completely swamped with a strong current flowing eastbound in the roadway. The intersection had been closed on Saturday, as well, was reopened in the afternoon and then closed again Sunday morning. By Sunday noon, water levels spreading out from Sonoma Creek were still rising, flooding Millerick Road and surrounding farmland. The high water gradually declined into the afternoon.
With the exception of several downed trees, some along Warm Springs Road, Sonoma Valley escaped the brunt of the storm which seemed to hit west county hard, although the Valley did have some wastewater overflows.
The Sonoma County Water Agency responded to five different overflow incidents, including 2,250 gallons at Burbank Avenue and Cecilia Drive in Glen Ellen; 3,150 gallons at Vailetti Drive and Casabella Drive; 18,000 gallons in the Rancho Vista Mobile Home Park; 9,000 gallons on Highway 12 near the Brookside Mobile Home Park; and 2,275 gallons at the Meadowbrook Mobile Home Park.
“Crews worked around the clock in the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District responding to wastewater overflows as a result of the extraordinary amount of rain that inundated the valley over the weekend,” said outgoing 1st District Supervisor and Water Agency Director Valerie Brown. “Our collection system is more than 50 years old. While replacing old pipes has reduced problems, more work is needed and this means ensuring proper funding for the district. I applaud the tremendous job of our staff for working in miserable conditions to fix problems quickly.”
The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District recorded more than six-inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
The county’s Public Works and Transportation Department was sending out email updates every couple of hours. A 48-inch culvert on Stony Point Road between Highway 116 and Madrone Road southwest of Rohnert Park failed and Stony Point Road was closed for hours.
Other roads that flooded include Petaluma Boulevard South of the 101 off-ramp; Rohnert Park Expressway; Bloomfield Road at Valley Ford Road; San Antonio Road and Llano Road.
While the Russian River rose, it was still below flood stage in both Healdsburg and Guerneville on Monday.