Santa Cruz Co. avoids major flooding following weekend storm

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In Santa Cruz County residents braced for the impact of potential flood risk and debris flow due to the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burn scar. Thankfully, the flooding never came.

While the community knows it could have been worse, the impacts of the storm could still be felt.

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Downed trees, closed roads and snapped powerlines; the community could only look on in surprise after seeing what has become of their neighborhood following the storm.

It could only be described in one way.

"Chaos," Zayante Fire Department Chief Dan Walters said. "We pretty much have two seasons, fire season and storm season and it looks like we're in storm season all of the sudden."

Zayante Fire Chief Dan Walters said the area got more than seven inches of rain in 24 hours leading to two near-deaths from fallen trees and too many calls for fire crews to keep up with. One of those calls came from Will Morse.

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"All of the sudden, I head the cracking and the popping," Morse said. "And you know from living here that something is coming either a limb or a tree. Then I heard the 'whoosh' and the 'boom' and I thought, ' oh crap, please don't destroy the home'."

Crews were on hand working to remove the tree as we were talking with Morse.

Some slight roof damage, but nothing too bad he said. Things like this are just part of the mountain lifestyle.

"Mountain living is not for the meek or the faint of heart, it comes with the territory," Morse said. "But you think, this wasn't part of the evacuation zone and I thought everything was cool. But, apparently not."

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The major concern of the county was the flood risk from the CZU Lightning Complex burn scar similar to the issue they saw in January of this year.

Like every major storm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, there is plenty of damage, but everyone is thankful it wasn't worse.

"Some of the higher elevations in the San Lorenzo Valley got six to ten inches of rain," Santa Cruz County Communications Manager Jason Hoppin said. "We have some road impacts, we have trees down, we have some localized flooding around culverts and things like that, we still have some high surf along the coast, but other than that, by in large it looks like we dodged a bullet."

Falling trees and debris are still a risk to those driving in the area. Chief Walters advises everyone to slow down and be careful.


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