Residents brace for worst, hope for best in Santa Cruz Mountain storm

FELTON, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Cruz Mountain community was hit hard and fast by flooded water when the San Lorenzo River rose some 7 feet above flood stage Tuesday night.

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There is a lot of clean-up ahead at Felton Grove in Felton. Everything is a muddy mess. Getting to Felton was a mess too because of a massive mudslide on Highway 17.

Thick, sticky mud covers every inch of the Shaffer's yard and the first floor of their home in Felton grove. Camilla Shaffer says the flood happened so fast. "I was scared," she told ABC7 News. "Usually we're in this together. Usually, the whole family is home dealing with it, but it was me on my own today."

The San Lorenzo River surged seven feet above flood stage.

Firefighters went door to door in a boat asking people to evacuate. Joanne Morisoli chose to stay.

"You know they went up and we need to take you out," she said. "I don't wanna go."

"It seemed like there was four or five feet of water here in our front yard and in the street," said Karen Hendryk, who was at work when the flooding happened.

"I left Palo Alto at ten and I got home about four because I hit the slide on 17," Hendryk told ABC7 News.

That was the other major problem in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A massive, early morning mudslide that closed Highway 17 in both directions.

It's the same spot near Scott's Valley that slid on Jan. 9.

Caltrans improvements couldn't stop the tons of rock and mud. It flipped a car but the driver wasn't hurt.

Some commuters were stuck for hours, but Scott's Valley resident Chris Berard took it in stride. "The only thing I could say is for people to relax and go with the flow."

People in Felton are trying to do just that.

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The Shaffers were bolstered by a live goldfish they rescued from a puddle after the floodwaters receded.
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