Drought-depleted Mark West Creek water levels rise after 4.4 quake rattles Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA — John Macaulay and his wife, Suzanne Dickinson, noticed something odd after a 4.4 quake rattled the Rodgers Creek fault system near their Santa Rosa neighborhood last week.

The rumble at first shook their nerves.

“It was unsettling. And it was really close,” John Macaulay told KPIX. “You could tell…It got our attention…I didn’t even have time to think of the ramifications. It was like, oh my God, this is going to be bad.”

Fortunately, the quake only caused some minor damage around the city and there were no injuries.

But soon after the quake, they noticed something odd. The nearby Mark West Creek, visible out a second story window of their home, had gone from a mere trickle to being filled with water.

Macaulay walked down to the creek and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“This is where I came a couple of hours after the quake to see how much it had risen,” he told KPIX as he stood on the bank of the creek. “It had significantly risen…The creek before the earthquake looked like a pond. It was stagnant. It was in stasis.”

Macaulay called the Sonoma Water Department, who sent crews to investigate.

“We’re thinking that maybe an aquafer or ground water aquafer was cracked open which then would have released water into the creek,” said Andrea Rodriguez, the water department PIO.

“This isn’t going to be a big difference in our water supply,” she continued. “But you know what, it makes a big difference to all the animals and the habitat along the creek.”

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.