Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Officials in California's Sonoma County issued a mandatory evacuation order for an area around Russian River, which was expected to rise above flood stages Tuesday evening.
Torrential rainfall in the area filled the Russian River this week and it is now threatening to spill over into nearby communities.
"A slow-moving storm is moving into the West Coast from the Pacific, which has been the cause for very heavy rainfall that has occurred over northern and central California (Tuesday) and (Wednesday)," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Frank Strait said.
Authorities reported a massive mudslide near Monte Rio, which sits along the Russian River, on Tuesday, helping prompt the mandatory evacuation.
The Russian River was expected to continue to rise until cresting at 46.1 feet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, the warning said. Evacuation shelters were set up at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol and the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion in Santa Rosa.
County officials closed some three dozen roads and named 25 areas along the river that should be evacuated.
About 3,800 people were affected by the mandatory evacuation but several residents said they were planning to ride out the storm and its aftermath, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.
Jeff Bridges, part-owner of the R3 Hotel in Guerneville, one of the evacuation areas, and the president of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce, said his last guest left a day early to avoid being stranded.
"It will probably reach to the top of the door frame there," Bridges said, a veteran of three other flooding incidents. "We will need a total remodel."