Shelters fill up, more dangers approach


Evacuation shelters continued to fill early Sunday morning in areas close to the Pajaro River, where a broken dyke forced thousands of people, many of them farmworkers, to flee the floodwaters.

And in the distance, another second atmospheric river continued with Jaws’ relentless rush towards the California coast. Its projected path was expected to further affect the wetlands and perhaps create new ones.

“We’re keeping an eye on the Salinas River,” Monterey County Spokesperson Nicholas Pasculli said Sunday morning. “That is a big concern for us (Sunday).”

A flood warning went into effect at 1am for the Salinas River near Spreckels and residents were urged to prepare to seek out higher ground. The river is rare because it flows from south to north, and Pasculli said areas along the river from Greenfield in the south and Gonzales in the north could be in danger.

As of Sunday morning, 3,400 people were under evacuation orders or warnings in Monterey County, according to Pasculli. Authorities have not received reports that the flooding has caused no injuries or deaths, he said.

Those who had to flee sought shelter at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds on East Lake Boulevard in Watsonville; the Compass Church on Main Street in Salinas; Holy Trinity Church Hall on El Camino Real in Greenfield and the Contra Costa Division of the Salvation Army on Contra Costa Street in Seaside.

“There is still room in the shelters,” said Pasculli. “We are looking to increase capacity.”

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