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Crews, Residents Concern Over Salinas River as Another Storm Approaches

The storms wreaking havoc in the Bay Area are also devastating some of the neighboring counties as well.

For much of this week, there’s been concern that floodwaters could turn the Monterey peninsula into an island.

The Salinas River surged to about 24-feet and finally broke through levees this week near the Chualar River Bridge, sending a torrent of flood water into local communities.

The view from NBC Bay Area’s Sky Ranger Thursday showed water engulfing homes and vehicles in its path, threatening to turn the Monterey peninsula into an island by cutting off major roadways.

Nine school districts called off classes and the situation looked bleak.

But Friday morning, the storm eased off and an expected mandatory evacuation turned into an evacuation warning.

“We might need to evacuate but I doubt we’ll have to evacuate just because of the dip here,” said Julian Santos of Gonzales. Maybe down over there by River Road on the bridge. They might need to close that down, but I don’t think here it’s going to flood as much especially now that the water has receded. But who knows?”

Emergency officials say the Salinas River could rise another 2 or three feet and it has been a bit unpredictable, cresting at different times.

Water rescue teams from Oakland and Menlo Park are here standing by just in case.

“What we are doing right now is just continuing evaluating the water levels and we are looking for any entry and exit points for safety reasons if we are needed to perform any rescues,” said Jon Johnston, Menlo Park Division Chief.

Cal Fire agencies are also monitoring the river to launch evacuation plans fast.

“We’re doing the best we can to give them the information as quickly as possible with a big a lead as possible as well,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Keith Tsudama.

Cal Fire said it hopes it can help Cal OES sound the alarm for an evacuation with a four hour notice, which could be adequate since so many people told us they’re already packed.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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