By Maria Medina

(KPIX 5) — With the next storm bearing down on the Northern California, crews are racing to shore up the hillsides in the Santa Cruz mountains.

The storm is expected to hit Santa Cruz County harder than the Bay Area, and the county’s public works department says it has been preparing for this winter all year long.

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Crews are still cleaning up downed trees and lines from last week’s rain — and they’re expecting more this week — but they say it’s not just the rain that will be the problem.

“The wind is going to be our concern,” said public works Roads Superintendent Dawne Harman. “We anticipate it, we know it’s coming.”

Harman says last week, one public works employee alone got 100 calls about damage from the rain. This week, crews are dropping off sandbags at local fire stations, and it will be all hands on deck even as crews still are in the process of repairing damage from last year’s heavy rains which caused millions of dollars in damage.

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The damage from last year’s storms was so bad that it’ll take five years to repair all the damage. “We had 244 damaged sites from last year. Thirty-eight, I believe, have been repaired,” said Harman.

Because the works is far from done, crews have protected those areas so no more damage can be done until they can get to it. For now, the focus is on this week’s storm and what it may bring.

“Be prepared and be patient,” said Harman.

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