More than 100 Hollister residents evacuated due to flooding

HOLLISTER, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 100 people have been evacuated from Hollister during the area's most recent storm and neighborhoods are looking more like lakes.

Animals are being left behind and many of them are unsure or where to go or what to do in the rising water.

There have been 108 people evacuated from the area, 59 on their own and 49 by rescuers. It was a morning they'll never forget.

Rescuers were taking people out of their homes by truck, boat and even back early Wednesday morning in Hollister, just off Highway 152. The first call was for a stalled car in the water on Lovers Lane around 2 a.m., then rescues from homes started at about 4 a.m.

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It was frightening for many people. Pacheco Creek was overflowing. Some spots of Lovers Lane and San Felipe Road were covered with waist-deep water. "I hear my mom coming out from the door yelling girls, girls get up. It's flooded outside. So we all got up, we saw what was going on outside and we couldn't believe it. There was I think 3 feet of water," evacuee Bianca Vasquez said.

Vasquez and her family were taken by bus to the Veteran's Memorial Building in Hollister, where Red Cross set up a shelter for the evacuees. A few dozen people have been through these doors.

"That's what we do. We take care of them. If they need something, we'll accommodate them. That's the way it works," American Red Cross spokesperson David Guttirez said.

It could take a while before people are allowed back home. The ground is saturated and the water doesn't have anywhere to go.

"Once that water goes down, that's really when we're going to be able to go in and do our damage assessments and seeing what the real damage is to the individual homes and just to the infrastructure in general," Office of Emergency Services' Kevin O'Neill said.

The rescue operation has now turned into damage assessments. Building officials will be sent out to see which homes will have to be red tagged.

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