Live storm updates: Evacuation warnings issued for parts of Santa Cruz Co.

ByABC7 News Staff KGO logo
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Another atmospheric river is taking aim at the San Francisco Bay Area and is set to arrive Monday night bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to the region.

ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma says flooding on roadways and in streams will happen faster than last Friday because the ground is saturated and runoff will begin almost immediately.

STORM TIMELINE: Another atmospheric river heading to Bay Area

Power Outages


11 p.m.
Construction worker says he's losing $1,000 a week due to wet weather

We asked construction worker Hector Hernandez, "How much money do you think you've lost by not being able to work?" His reply, "A $1,000 a week."

A slow and steady sprinkle or drizzle fell in Santa Rosa Monday night. Many of those we spoke with told us they're looking forward to drier weather.

"I'm definitely ready for it to be done with. I'm more of a summer kind of person," said Austin Vario of Santa Rosa.

Construction worker Hector Hernandez told us he has been unable to work for the last three weeks because of the wet conditions. We asked him, "How much money do you think you've lost by not being able to work?" His reply, "A $1,000 a week."

Some workers are doing well though. Cookie delivery driver Patrick Palmer told us the calls keep coming in.

"Probably about 20% busier. Deliveries are big everyone wants to stay home you know," said Palmer.

6:30 p.m.
New evacuation warnings issued for Watsonville

In addition to evacuation warnings for parts of the county put out by the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office on Monday, Watsonville has issued new warnings as of 6 p.m.

Additional evacuation warnings have been issued for people living along Corralitos Creek and near the Pajaro River in Watsonville.

Shelters have been set up for people leaving their residences at the Watsonville Veterans Memorial Building, 215 E. Beach St., and the Cabrillo College Gymnasium, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos.

6:10 p.m.
Evacuation warnings issued for parts of Santa Cruz Co.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff has issued evacuation warnings for several areas of the county in anticipation of upcoming weather, the office said on Monday.

Neighborhoods including Paradise Park, Felton Grove, Soquel Village and the College/Lake Area of Watsonville should be on alert.

The official zones that face the highest risk of flooding are FEL-E008, FEL-E012, CRZ-E081; CTL E014-B, E015-B, EO18-A, E019-B; PAJ-E015-B, E024-B, E027-B, E026 AND E028.

Residents can look up their zones here.

4 p.m.
Oakland Zoo announces closure on Tuesday due to storm

The Oakland Zoo announced on Twitter it will be closed on Tuesday, March 14 in preparation for more heavy rain and wind coming to the Bay Area.

The zoo says visitors will be given a refund and will take three to four weeks to process.

12 p.m.
Newsom adds 6 more counties to state of emergency proclamation

Governor Gavin Newsom over the weekend added six more counties, including San Joaquin County, to those under a state of emergency to assist in storm response and relief efforts.

Previously, Newsom had proclaimed a state of emergency in 34 counties during recent atmospheric rivers and storms. As of Sunday, Calaveras, Del Norte, Glenn, Kings, San Benito and San Joaquin were added to the list.

The governor's proclamation will support impacted residents throughout the covered counties to waive fees to replace records such as marriage and birth certificates, as well as provide flexibility to help hospitals and care facilities continue to provide services, according to a press release from the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

8:30 a.m.
Hwy 9 closed in Saratoga due to fallen rocks, trees

State Highway 9 was closed at Booker Creek Road in Saratoga on Monday morning due to fallen rocks and a downed tree.

Caltrans said in a Tweet at 7:32 a.m. that the highway is closed in both directions. Drivers were advised to take alternate routes.

There was no estimate for when the scene would be clear.


9 p.m.
Flooding forces evacuations in Monterey Co. after levee breach with more heavy rain expected Monday

Search and rescue efforts intensified Sunday in Monterey County where there was a 120-foot wide levee breach early Saturday along the Pajaro River. First responders have rescued close to 200 people. "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." Full story here.

6 p.m.
North Bay first responders assist with Monterey Co. flooding evacuations

First responders from the North Bay are assisting with evacuations due to flooding in Monterey County. The small town Pajaro is under six feet of flood water, after a levee failure on the Pajaro River.

First responders from the North Bay are assisting with evacuations due to flooding in Monterey County. The small town of Pajaro is under six feet of flood water, after a levee failure on the Pajaro River.

"The entire community of Parajo is inundated," said Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Graham Groneman. "It's (Water is) still coming through the community, until they get it shored up and fixed, I don't see an easy solution to getting that water out of there."

4 p.m.
California secures federal assistance for winter storm response, recovery

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Sunday afternoon that the White House approved a Presidential Emergency Declaration, which authorizes federal assistance to support the state and local response to recent winter storms.

"We are grateful for President Biden's swift action to provide more resources and assistance to Californians reeling from back-to-back storms," Newsom said in a statement. "We also thank all the heroic first responders working tirelessly to save lives in these dangerous and challenging conditions. California will continue to work day and night with local, state and federal partners to protect and support our communities."

The Presidential Emergency Declaration allows impacted counties to immediately access Direct Federal Assistance to help protect public safety and property. This includes generators, road clearance equipment and sheltering or mass care assistance as needed.

With storms forecasted to continue through mid-March, Newsom issued a state of emergency in 21 counties to support disaster response and relief efforts this week, following the state of emergency he proclaimed in an initial 13 counties earlier this month.

2:40 p.m.
Capitol Corridor to bypass Fremont, Hayward stations due to flooding

Capitol Corridor, which provides transit from San Jose to Auburn, said that its trains will bypass the Hayward and Fremont stations until further notice due to flooding.

11 a.m.
Flooding causes closures on I-880 in Hayward, Fremont CHP says

Drivers traveling northbound on Interstate 880 will have to consider alternative routes, as the roadway between Fremont and Union City is closed, announced California Highway Patrol officials on Sunday morning.

The highway is closed from Mowry Avenue in Union City to Alvarado-Niles Road in Fremont due to flooding.

Local law enforcement encourages residents to avoid the area if possible. There is no estimated time for reopening.

California High Patrol announced closures of I-880 in Hayward due to flooding. Officers are currently on the scene with Caltrans.

I-880 northbound, south of Thornton Avenue, lanes #2-4 are closed.

I-880 southbound, south of Thornton Avenue, lane #4 is closed.

9 a.m.
Flood Advisories issued for several parts of Bay Area: NWS

The National Weather Service issued Flood Advisories for several parts of the Bay Area Sunday morning.

A Flood Advisory for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties is in effect until 2:30 p.m. NWS says that heavy rain will continue this morning and into the early afternoon. This may cause minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, and area creeks and streams.

A Flood Advisory for Sonoma Co. is in effect until noon. NWS says an additional 1/4" to 1/2" of rainfall is expected this morning. This will keep water levels elevated on the Mark West, Santa Rosa and Laguna de Santa Rosa creeks.


8:30 p.m.
Salinas River in Monterey County downgrades evacuation order to a warning

Monterey County emergency response officials have just downgraded an evacuation order for the Salinas River to an evacuation warning, according to a county spokesperson.

This evacuation order was announced by the county as of 8 p.m. Saturday.

The downgrade came at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

6:30 p.m.
Pajaro River levee breach now 120 feet wide

The levee breach along the Pajaro River, upstream from the Monterey County community of Pajaro, is now 120 feet wide as of early Saturday evening, according to county officials.

The breach occurred just before midnight late Friday evening.

The water is flowing freely through the breach, according to Maia Carroll, a spokesperson for Monterey County. She added that state and local engineers are assessing the situation and determining next steps.

Overnight Friday to Saturday, emergency personnel conducted more than 90 rescues in the area, Carroll said. Door-to-door evacuation notifications began at approximately 3 pm. Friday to connect with residents who may not have left when emergency notices were issued.

As of Saturday evening, residents who have not leave the area are still encouraged to do so. MST buses are providing free transportation to shelters, and temporary evacuation points. Pick up location is at the Pajaro Golf Course.

Carroll said high-water vehicles, dive and search and rescue and mutual support agencies are working in the area. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

1 p.m.
Evacuation Warnings lifted for Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Bolsa Knolls, officials say

Evacuation warnings have been lifted for all areas of Big Sur River, Carmel Valley and Bolsa Knolls in Monterey County, the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said Saturday afternoon.

The warnings have been lifted effective immediately, according to the emergency services office.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office shortly before noon Saturday issued an evacuation warning for areas of the Salinas River to go into effect immediately until further notice.

Zones E-0016 and E-0021 are under evacuation warning.

Sheriff's officials said those with who have large animals or need extra time to evacuate should do so immediately.

An evacuation warning means those in a specific area should be prepared to evacuate at any time. When such a warning is issued, those in affected zones do not need to leave their homes at that time but should be alert and prepared to leave if an evacuation order is called.

10:15 a.m.
State Route 84 closed in both directions in San Mateo Co. due to sinkhole: Caltrans

Highway 84 is closed in both directions at Portola Road to Skyline Boulevard says Caltrans and San Mateo County Sheriff. Officials said a landslide caused major damage to the roadway and that there is no estimated time for reopening.

10 a.m.
Flash Flood Warning issued for Pajaro River, town in Monterey Co., NWS says

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the Pajaro River and the town of Pajaro in Monterey County effective immediately until 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Major life-threatening flooding is forecast, county officials said Saturday morning.

The flash flood warning affects the Pajaro River levee breach area and Township of Pajaro to the Pacific Ocean, according to the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services.

9 a.m.
Flood Warning issued for Salinas River in Monterey Co., NWS says

A flood warning is continuing to be in effect for the Salinas River near Bradley affecting Monterey County, the National Weather Service said Saturday morning.

Minor flooding is forecast for the Salinas River, according to the weather service.

The weather service cautioned motorists not to drive around barricades or drive cars through flooded areas.

Drivers should be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding, the weather service said.

Additional information is available here.

8 a.m.
Pajaro levee breaks in Monterey Co., prompting evacuations

The Pajaro River levee was breached overnight on Friday night, prompting evacuations.

The Pajaro River levee was breached overnight on Friday night, prompting evacuations.

The levee was breached at about midnight, according to a news release from the Monterey County Health Department.

Teams from the county's water resources agency and state department of water resources were onsite at the time attempting flood-fighting efforts.

Evacuations of most of the Pajaro community were ordered just before midnight and expanded shortly after to include all flood zones in the Pajaro area.

National Guard high-water rescue vehicles were stationed in the area to help the evacuation effort, which included door-to-door checks from Monterey County sheriff's deputies, Cal Fire crews and North Monterey County firefighters.

Repairs to the levee are expected to take place on Saturday during daylight hours.

There are emergency evacuation shelters at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, located at 2601 East Lake Ave., in Watsonville, in the Crosetti Building, and at the Compass Church, located at 10325 S. Main Street, in Salinas.

Residents can get a ride to a shelter at a temporary evacuation point, which are located at the Prunedale Library, at 17822 Moro Rd., the Carmel Valley Library, at 65 W. Carmel Valley Rd., and the King City Library, at 402 Broadway St.

For assistance with animals, the SPCA can be reached at 831-373-2631, and after normal hours at 831-646-5534.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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