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January 31, 2023

Pajaro residents still evacuated

County says rumors of looting are unfounded

PAJARO—On the same day that the City of Watsonville lifted its evacuation warnings and orders, residents of the town of Pajaro are questioning why the orders keeping them out of their homes still stand.

The Main Street bridge over the Pajaro River was still closed as of Monday afternoon.

“People have been evacuated for a week now, and there is no imminent threat of the river overflowing,” Consejero Ramiro said Monday in a Facebook message. 

Ramiro said that he has reached out to Monterey County, where officials say they are keeping the roads clear for crews making repairs to the Pajaro River Levee. Those repairs, he says, should have been completed a long time ago. In the meantime, Ramiro says his elderly parents need to be back in their home, and his aunt’s residence has been burglarized.

“It’s been a nightmare for Pajaro residents,” Ramiro says.

Monterey County spokesman Nicholas Pasculli says that reports of looting in the area are unfounded, and that sheriff’s deputies are patrolling Pajaro, along with San Jose Police to make sure it does not happen.

Pasculli adds that conditions on the Pajaro River continue to evolve, and still pose a potential hazard.

“The river levels continue to change because of watershed runoff,” he said. “The predictive models are changing frequently, and at the end of the day we’re trying to protect people, and we’re making the decisions based on public safety and to prevent any tragedies from happening.”

The Pajaro River was predicted to crest at about 27 feet on Monday, which is still below the 32-foot flood stage. Forecasters say the system of storms that has besieged the Central Coast has largely passed, with rain expected through Monday night, except for an 80% chance of rain on Wednesday, and clear skies for the rest of the week.

2 COMMENTS

  1. it should be obvious that the Pajaro rebuild will need elevated homes , apts. and store fronts. and the Pajaro river flood control project needs to be fast forwarded. this will most likely happen again, until we stop producing so much CO2 . this is a big time warning from Mother Nature. we need to heed it.

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