"At least close to 800 homes have been impacted by this flood. This is about as bad as you can get and the water is still rising."
MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Search and rescue efforts intensified Sunday in Monterey County where there was a 120-foot wide levee breach early Saturday along the Pajaro River.
Flood-filled streets are forcing thousands from their homes and the National Guard helping with rescues. Bay Area teams are also assisting, including Marin County Fire the Oakland Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 4. As of Sunday, first-responders have rescued close to 200 people.
"I am actually in a National Guard high water vehicle driving through Pajaro," said Monterey Sheriff Tina Nieto over phone. She says most of the rescues have been in the town of Pajaro.
"I can tell you at least close to 800 homes have been impacted by this flood. This is about as bad as you can get and the water is still rising," said Sheriff Nieto.
The Sheriff's Office Sunday upgraded the evacuation warning to an evacuation order for the Salinas River areas.
"This is a very important evacuation order because it encompasses a large amount of residential structures as well as commercial agricultural structures," said Nicholas Pasculli Monterey County Communications Director and Chief Public Information Officer
"With these orders that's going to be more people that we have asking people to evacuate out of their homes," added the sheriff. "These are the low lying areas, we're looking at the 100 year floodplains so it's a lot of people."
As for a fix to the levee county officials say it's getting support from the state and repairs are underway.
In the meantime emergency responders are working to bring people to safety with another round of heavy rain expected Monday.
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