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A big winter storm is making a major impact across the Bay Area early Wednesday morning, but is hitting Sonoma County the hardest, as an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory has been issued for the area by the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists said some areas of the county have reached more than 1.5 inches of rainfall in the past 24 hours, with Venado in unincorporated Sonoma County leading the way with 3.64 inches as of 5:30 a.m., including 2.12 inches in the last 6 hours.

Sebastopol has seen 1.93 inches in the last 24 hours, and the Sonoma County Airport has 2.02 inches in that same timeframe.

"We actually are seeing those creeks rise across Sonoma County, especially the Russian River," said Roger Gass, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Gass stressed the storm is just beginning and much more rainfall across the region is expected. The flooding risk in many more streams will increase Wednesday night into Thursday.

The highest wind gust in the area so far was recorded on Mount St. Helena, a 75 mph blast at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday.

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Bay City News Service