Gov. Newsom declares state of emergency in 5 Northern California counties due to flooding

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared an emergency for five northern counties after a heavy storm led to the worst flooding in 20 years in one county and the death of a man in another.

RELATED: Russian River slowly receding, major damage remains in Guerneville

Newsom said Thursday the emergency proclamation is for the counties of Amador, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma, where hundreds were marooned.

The governor says the emergency declaration directs state officials to immediately request federal assistance to help communities recover from flooding, mudslides and damage to critical infrastructure.

The Russian River in Sonoma County crested at more than 46 feet (14 meters) Wednesday night, flooding about 2,000 buildings. More than 200 miles (322 kilometers) to the north, a man drowned in floodwaters while trying to reach his home, where three children were trapped.

SKY7 VIDEO: Massive flooding in Guerneville leaves homes underwater
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Homes are underwater and residents are escaping to higher land as the rising Russian River flooded Guerneville during a massive storm.

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