Alastair Bland, NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN
Last weekend, rain fell in drenching, gushing sheets across Northern California. Stream levels bounced up, fish again had room to swim and farmers saw puddles form over their dusty properties. The Russian River, flowing at a trickle of 24 cubic feet per second last week in Mendocino County, had become a torrent of more than 4,000 by Sunday. But the relief did not undo the work of the driest year on state record.
"This did not put this drought to bed in the slightest," says Sean White, general manager of the Russian River Flood Control District. Just over five inches fell in Ukiah, and Lake Mendocino’s volume jumped by about 20 percent. But it’s still half of its normal February capacity, White says, and there remains the real chance that the reservoir could be empty by September.