Friday, June 14, 2024

Emergency evacuations, flood fears in Northern California as new storms slam region

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Flood warnings were in effect for wide swaths of Northern California as new storms threatened flooding in some regions.

Areas of concern

Particular areas of concern are the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz County and the Salinas River in Monterey County, the North Bay, Merced County, parts of San Mateo County and Mendocino County.

In Medicino County, the Garcia, Navarro and Russian rivers were all in danger of flooding, which could include portions of Highway 1 and the bridge on Highway 175, east of the town of Hopland, that connects Lake County to Highway 101.

In Merced County, areas flooded earlier in the week are still at risk. They include the communities of Merced, Atwater, Planada and Le Grand, the weather service said.

Emergency evacuations

Santa Cruz County officials Saturday were carrying out emergency evacuations in the already hard-hit neighborhood of Felton Grove, a neighborhood alongside the San Lorenzo River, which has already been devastated Monday by flooding.

“Emergency evacuations underway in Felton Grove. Deputies are in the area. If you live in the neighborhood, please leave now,” the Santa Cruz County Twitter account said.

The San Lorenzo River flood gauge just downstream of the Felton Grove neighborhood on Saturday was projecting it to flood again Saturday.

As of 8:30 a.m., the river level was at 16.15 feet, just shy of the start of flood stage at 16.5 feet. The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service forecast the river would rise at that location to 20.1 feet.

That wouldn’t be as bad as what was experienced Monday, when the river rose to 24.54 feet — the second highest level on record — but would still be considered moderate flooding.

Santa Cruz County’s evacuation map showed mandatory evacuations ordered for Felton Grove and, farther south, Paradise Park, which is also along the San Lorenzo River, which flows from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz County said evacuations are also underway for low-lying areas of Soquel Village, a retail area along the Soquel River that includes shops and restaurants. Soquel Wharf Road is included in the evacuation area.

Rains, river warnings

The National Weather Service said rainfall rates in the Santa Cruz Mountains were approaching half an inch per hour.

Officials were also “keeping an eye” on Soquel Creek, which runs through the communities of Soquel and Capitola, east of Santa Cruz.

Also being watched closely were the areas of Watsonville and Pajaro along the boundary of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, where the Corralitos and Salsipuedes creeks and Pajaro River are flood risks.

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