Crews from the state’s emergency contractor are on-site at the 120-foot breach in the Pajaro River Levee as they prepare to shore up the break with boulders and riprap from the nearby Graniterock quarry in Aromas, Lew Bauman of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency says.
It’s unknown how long it will take workers to shore up the levee.
“They will be working 24/7 to make as much progress as they can prior to the next rain event,” Bauman says.
During a Zoom press conference, Nieto says the water continues to rise in Pajaro, and rescue workers will soon have to switch to boats to reach stranded residents.
No deaths or injuries have been reported, according to Nieto.
“We have a whole community under water,” she says, adding that she had just returned from Pajaro to aid the efforts. “It’s a holy moly situation, but my language would be a lot more colorful.”
County officials anticipate that further evacuation orders around Pajaro may be announced soon due to the rising waters and another atmospheric river weather event expected to hit the region this week.
Due to the flooding that impacted drinking water facilities, the drinking water supplied by Pajaro Water System is possibly contaminated. Pajaro residents are advised not to use the tap water for drinking and cooking until further notice.
235 people are taking shelter at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, according to county officials.
Emergency shelters are open at the following locations:
• Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2061 East Lake Ave., Watsonville
• Compass Church, 10325 S. Main St., Salinas
• Holy Trinity Church Hall, 27 South El Camino Real, Greenfield
• Salvation Army Contra Costa, 1491 Contra Costa Blvd, Seaside
Temporary Evacuation Points, where evacuees can make transportation arrangements:
• Prunedale Library, 17822 Moro Road
• Carmel Valley Library, 65 W. Carmel Valley Road
• King City Library, 402 Broadway St.