This story is still developing and will be updated.
This morning, the City of Santa Cruz reported that critical flood protection rocks along the San Lorenzo River Levee had been removed sometime in the past few days.
The large rocks, known as rip rap, prevent erosion during high flood events. Sometime in the past few days, nearly three yards of the rip rap were dug out and replaced with unpermitted citrus tree plantings.
According to a city press release, this act of vandalism threatens the levee’s flood structure and jeopardizes the city’s FEMA certification for the levee system. City staff are currently repairing the damage.