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KCBX News Update: Pajaro flooding, SLO County evacuation orders lifted, and another storm incoming

The Monterey County community of Pajara was inundated with floodwaters Friday night.
Jonathan Linden/KAZU
The Monterey County community of Pajara was inundated with floodwaters Friday night.

The Central Coast is in the middle of a pause in stormy weather. Heavy rain from Friday’s atmospheric river is now over but another, similar storm is expected to arrive tomorrow.

Heavy rainfall is forecast to start tomorrow morning and stay consistent through Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service says this storm is likely to cause “excessive runoff which may result in dangerous flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low lying and flood prone areas.”

Meanwhile, communities around the Central Coast are still recovering from the latest round of intense rain. On Friday night, the Monterey County community of Pajaro was inundated by floodwaters after a levee breached.

Pajaro is in north Monterey County right at the border with Santa Cruz County. More than 8,500 people were placed under evacuation orders or warnings in Monterey County, many of whom were Hispanic/Latino farmworkers.

There were also evacuation warnings and orders for areas along the Salinas River, from Salinas to south of San Ardo. A full evacuation map is available here. The county set up emergency shelters in Watsonville, Salinas, Greenfield and Seaside.

"This community is a small, disadvantaged community [of] mostly Latino, mostly low-income farmworkers, and they've endured this the same hardship 28 years ago in 1995 when there was another major flooding of this community," said Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo.

"It's heartbreaking to see the community under flood waters, and we know that these residents are going to go through some challenging times over the next several months to try to get their homes repaired and make them be livable again," Alejo said.

Meanwhile, evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted in SLO County communities including Oceano, Cambria and Arroyo Grande.

These areas and the rest of the Central Coast are bracing for yet another intense winter storm. There is already a flood watch scheduled to start in parts of the Central Coast at 9am tomorrow, so officials are urging residents to prepare for another intense storm now.

This story includes reporting from fellow NPR member stations KAZU and KQED.

KCBX News is led by News Director Gabriela Fernandez under the oversight of Programming and Content Director Marisa Waddell. Amanda Wernik and Sarina Grossi are the current reporters, with assistance from reporter/editor Kim Foster Carlson. Posts by "KCBX News Staff" reflect collaborative writing and reporting from multiple news team members and may include work from Fernandez, Wernik, Grossi, Carlson, Waddell and newsroom interns/volunteers.
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