Hwy 211 to Ferndale Closed at Fernbridge

The view from Fernbridge [Video by Macy Brown]

During this last storm the Eel River breached its banks at Fernbridge. Early this morning, Caltrans closed Hwy 211 from the bridge to Waddington Road. That means Ferndale residents would have to travel back roads to get in or out of their little village.

The tides peak a little after 10 this morning and there have been only showers today so residents hope 211 will open later today. “I’m guessing that as soon as the tide starts going out these flood waters are going to go down fast.,” says local Tyler Grunert.

Meanwhile, those who get stuck have their neighbors to help.

Tractor headed to the watery rescue. [Photo by Troy Grunert]

Grunert reports that the driver of a small pickup tried to drive out of Cannibal Island Road and got stuck in the flood waters.  But a local dairyman used his tractor to rescue the stranded motorist.

Dairyman on a tractor

Rescuer grins before heading back to work. [Photo by Troy Grunert]

The Eels’ water engulfed the land on the west side of the bridge. Here’s a video from local Lauren Lazio showing the vast expanse of brown liquid running everywhere.

Grunert reports there are multiple people walking out on the bridge and enjoying the unusual view. “Fernbridge is a theme park right now,” he said.

If so, it’s an unusually beautiful one.

[Photo by Lauren Lazio]

It even has a rainbow and two big smiles.

[Photo by Lauren Lazio]




  • When traveling the back roads can people please slow down. Blue Slide Road is not a freeway! And remember to stop at the stop sign near Price Creek . It is a stop sign not a yield! Flying through it going 60mph and honking your horn is not cool either! Been way too many almost accidents this morning!

    • You only need to stop enough to determine you have the right of way and that it is safe to proceed. Anything else is just obstructing traffic. Do your neighbors a favor and don’t.

      • When you have 2 vehicles or more coming in both directions, you do not just plow through the roads and hope you will make It! Do all of us neighbors a favor and please slow down! If there are other vehicles there then yes you do need to stop! I have been watching people all morning just fly down the hill and run through it with traffic coming in the opposite direction. If you are coming down the hill, you do not have the right of way!

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Hardly anyone cares anymore about safety, courtesy, and traffic regs. People refuse to alter their driving habits to suit conditions. If it is howling rain or frosted over, you must slow down.

  • Agreed! Slow down on Blue Slide…no way to make up time, could be trees down any time! or mud slides! Arrive Alive!!!! (Officer told me this 8yrs ago, speeding to get to work) Plus, many CLIFFS on that road…

  • That rescuer is Jim Renner! An amazing man!

  • Back to one-way traffic control @ approx 2:45 p.m. Stay safe!

  • Kathy Grunert Major

    Very impressive story and photos. Nice work!

  • Amimissingsomething

    Kym, Just wanted you to know how much “good” came out of your reporting during this past storm. You did it again which seems to be a recurring theme of yours and your reporting. Thank you for helping many many people get through another big blow. You’re the best Kym! LY pj

  • In 1965 I spent two weeks reattaching the old telephone cable that is on the side of the Ferndale bridge. There was so much water in the Eel that 100′ tall redwoods were doing 40 mph down the river. They literally beat the new bridges over the river to pieces leaving the old steel and concrete bridges alone since they were all under water. The banks of the Eel looked like someone had taken a D9 Cat and removed ever living thing for 200 yds. on both sides. The ground littered with mobile homes wadded up like pieces of tinfoil. Miles of them. Red Crest was gone. You see something like that and then listen to these asshats that talk about global warming and how man is destroying the planet. Man is a pimple on the earth’s ass. We will be gone shortly to be replaced by something else.

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