Santa Cruz Co. Board to consider local emergency following El Nino storms

Bay City News
Saturday, March 19, 2016

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will look into announcing a local emergency due to heavy rainfall from El Nino storms that has damaged roads and flooded several areas.

Rainfall so far this month has led to an estimated $9 million in damage and the board is expected to consider requesting emergency funds for repairs from the state Office of Emergency Services during its Tuesday meeting, county officials said.

"Given the amount of rain, our crews did well to respond quickly, prevent further damage and minimize storm impacts on residents," county Public Works Director John Presleigh said in a statement Thursday.

"However, we are a small county with a limited transportation budget. State assistance is needed to help return things to normal," Presleigh said.

The unincorporated Soquel community received more rain in one hour on March 5 than the rest of the region did throughout February, county officials said.

Storms forced evacuations in the Felton Grove, Paradise Park and lower Soquel Creek areas in addition to mudslides and downed trees, according to county officials.