A levee breach on the Pajaro River in Monterey County caused extensive flooding and led to hundreds of evacuations and dozens of water rescues as a result of the recent atmospheric river storm that battered several regions of California.
According to Nicholas Pasculli, a Monterey County spokesperson, the levee failure occurred late Friday night, approximately three miles upstream from the town of Pajaro.
The issue was first noticed by patrols who saw “bubbling up in the adjacent farmland” at 11 p.m., indicating that there was a problem, the Los Angels Times reported.
According to Nicholas Pasculli, a Monterey County spokesperson, the levee failed just 30 minutes after patrols noticed signs of bubbling up in the adjacent farmland at 11 p.m. on Friday.
As of Saturday morning, the failure was around 100 feet wide, and the town of Pajaro, mostly populated by farmworkers with a population of 1,700, is now submerged in water.
Officials said that rescue teams, including high-water vehicles, the sheriff’s diving team, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s swift-water team, carried out 60 rescues, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The National Guard was also dispatched to assist in the rescue efforts. At least 96 people were placed in county shelters as a result of the flooding.
Written by staff