.Atmospheric River Slams Central Coast—Again

A chaotic whirlwind of flooded roads and freeways hits Santa Cruz County as heavy rains persists

Evacuation orders in Felton Grove and Watsonville areas have already been issued. More evacuation warnings are expected to be elevated into orders throughout the day.

The National Weather Service reported that Ben Lomond has gotten over 5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. And the rain is still falling.

East Lake Avenue, west of Bridge Street, is closed off due to flooding. PHOTO: Tarmo Hannula

“The band of heaviest rain will move southward towards Santa Cruz and Monterey mid-morning,” the weather service predicted. “Once this band of convection reaches the Big Sur Coast and the Santa Lucia Mountains, chances for very efficient rainfall become high due to the orientation of the warm conveyor belt of moisture.”

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning for residents in low-lying areas, including parts of Soquel, Paradise Park and the area around Aptos Creek that could see flooding.

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Storm drains in Pajaro Village are backed up and overflowing. PHOTO: Tarmo Hannula

Meanwhile, FEMA sent an email stating, “Disaster Recovery Centers in Watsonville and Santa Cruz proper are closed today due to the weather conditions.” 

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