SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday issued an emergency proclamation for the counties of Monterey and San Luis Obispo due to damage caused by winter storms this past week.
The storms fueled by an atmospheric river weather system have caused flooding as well as mud and debris flows, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents.READ MORE: Bay Area Health Expert Hails Potential of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in Pandemic Battle
The storms damaged critical infrastructure, including washing out a portion of Highway 1. On Wednesday, the Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District was working with other fire agencies in the region to assess properties damaged by mud flows.
Monterey County Fire officials described the damage to multiple homes from the debris flow incidents overnight as moderate to severe.READ MORE: High School Girl Sues San Mateo County, State of California to Allow Indoor Youth Sports
“A few residents in their vehicles had been trapped in a mudslide, so they were able to get out. But as we discovered in the neighborhoods, some homes between 20 and 25 residences and outbuildings had been at least partially damaged by the mudflow,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priolo.
On Thursday morning, the Carmel Lagoon area was evacuated after a rain-swollen river spilled into the neighborhood, flooding multiple homes.
About a dozen residences were damaged, with some of the houses getting as much as a foot or two of water inside.
According to CBS Los Angeles, on Wednesday a street in the San Luis Obispo County community of Cambria was turned into a rushing river of mud and water Wednesday due heavy rain.MORE NEWS: Longtime San Francisco Merchants Lament Recent Spike in Burglaries
The emergency proclamation instructs Caltrans to formally request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program and the Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance to local governments.