Saturday, October 12, 2019

“Photos: The week's worst restaurant inspections in Jacksonville (Oct. 14) - The Florida Times-Union” plus 1 more

“Photos: The week's worst restaurant inspections in Jacksonville (Oct. 14) - The Florida Times-Union” plus 1 more


Photos: The week's worst restaurant inspections in Jacksonville (Oct. 14) - The Florida Times-Union

Posted: 11 Oct 2019 11:18 AM PDT

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Huge cleanup awaits along Russian River as high toll of flooding emerges - The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 12:00 AM PST

Business that could reopen did so Friday, and Guerneville's Main Street was abuzz with activity.

At the counter inside Pat's Restaurant, Mick Stahl commiserated with friends over a noontime beer. The floodwater severely damaged Stahl's house in town and his cabinet business on River Road.

It'll be weeks if not months of cleanup. He's been staying with a Russian River Chamber of Commerce member who opened his home to anyone who needed it.

"These things happen," said Stahl, 40. "This community — we will all stick together."

Andy Breffitt, 66, ducked his head into Higher Ground Organic Espresso on Third Street, where by mid morning cafe owner Emilie Navarro had cleared the mud from her tile floor.

"You've been initiated," said Breffitt, an auto mechanic whose family has roots here dating back 125 years.

"I was making coffee as I was pulling art off the walls," Navarro, 33, recalled of the storm's first punch Tuesday.

Two doors down, Berlin Fisher, 52, of Monte Rio had hired several workers to rip out the sodden dry wall of his salon, which he planned to temporarily move to the second floor.

Outside, people were power washing driveways and hauling waterlogged furniture from homes and garages.

The economic toll for this community reliant on tourism is sure to be staggering.

Karen O'Brien Inn, owner of Inn on the Russian River in Monte Rio, fought back tears as she met over eggs and toast with Jennifer Neeley, associate director of development for the West County Health Center.

O'Brien had just surveyed the flood's damage and she was shaken. Eight out of 11 cabins at her resort were full of mud and muck. It covered the furniture, the linens, the walls, everything. The sight was hard to take.

"It feels like communal grief," O'Brien said. "The town may not get back up on its feet until April."

The West County Health Center's main clinic and its homeless services center were open Friday, and staff were calling patients to let them know they could come in, Neeley said.

Using patient data and flood maps, they estimate 1,800 patients were affected by the disaster. Anyone who walks in needing help will be seen, Neely said.

"I'm sure lots of people lost their medication," she said.

County building inspectors with clipboards and neon vests fanned out along the lower river Friday, going structure-to-structure, marking most as safe to inhabit, but limiting or prohibiting entry to others.

Debris was strewn about the landscape. Fences that held through the storm became screens, trapping yard chairs, plastic tubs and 50 gallon barrels. A pile of massive redwood logs was lodged into a house. A canoe was suspended on a fence and tree.

Contractor Maury Dance was taking a lunch break at a property on Riverlands Road where he was washing the mud from several basements. "It's twice as hard to clean when it's dry," said Dance, 70, of Occidental.

In Monte Rio, Sarah Fisher took a smoke break outside River Auto Parts where she and others spent the day sweeping out water. Fisher, 24, had been trapped for two days in the second-story Guerneville home she shares with her boyfriend and his family. Like many, their living quarters were spared, but a workshop full of tools was lost.

About 10 miles upstream in Forestville, near the Hacienda Bridge, the river's flow was so strong it pushed a washing machine out of a cabin and deposited two hulking sections of redwood fence onto Igor Rozov's driveway.

Inside, a thick film of sludge covered the floor. His beds were askew, the mattresses thrown about. His piano had been driven mercilessly to the ground.

"I had prepared myself mentally, but it's devastating," Rozov said.

Untouched were his copper kitchen wares, a long row of antique bells hanging from a door and a shelf of ebony wood sculptures. Rozov is insured and said he's determined to rebuild his "slice of heaven." But this time it will be many feet higher.

"I don't get depressed easily," he said. "There will be a bright spot."

Staff Writers Andrew Beale and Nashelly Chavez contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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