The Pajaro River levee in north Monterey County was breached at midnight on Saturday, resulting in the night evacuation of thousands of Pajaro residents.
The Monterey County Water Resources Agency and the California Department of Water Resources reportedly worked alongside the levee when it was breached to stop flooding.
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office had issued an evacuation order for the Pajaro neighborhood earlier in the day.
Volunteers had knocked on doors warning them of the danger they would be exposed to if they stayed, including Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo and Santa Cruz County Supervisor Felipe Hernandez.
Alejo tweeted about the initiative, saying, “THANK YOU to the volunteers who walk door-to-door once again in #Pajaro to warn residents about the evacuation.”
THANK YOU to the volunteers who walk door-to-door once again in #Pajaro to warn residents about the evacuation & inform about the shelter at the Fairgrounds in Watsonville, including Santa Cruz County Supervisor #FelipeHernandez! pic.twitter.com/3XFJHnJGcD
— Luis Alejo⚖️ (@SupervisorAlejo) March 11, 2023
First responders arrived in Pajaro in the middle of the night to assist with the evacuation.
The National Guard was in the region, along with local law police and firefighters, and they had high-water rescue vehicles.
Before the flood waters reached the area, MST buses were dispatched to evacuate the population.
The Santa Cruz Fairground, 2061 E. Lake Blvd., Watsonville, and Compass Church, 10325 S. Main St., served as evacuation hubs.
As flood waters increased in Pajaro, the Cal Guard announced on Saturday morning that they had assisted in rescuing 56 persons.
Stay tuned at leedaily.com for updates on the developing situation and potential impacts caused by the Pajaro levee breach as residents and authorities work to mitigate the effects of the atmospheric river surge.