Crews face mud, flash flood in Calif storm cleanup


A voluntary evacuation was ordered as emergency workers searched for any residents stranded in Capitola, a small city in Santa Cruz County. Heavy rain caused the burst of water from a culvert in a mobile home park to flood the Capitola Village shopping area, said Derek Johnson, a city spokesman.

Several mobile homes suffered significant damage and numerous vehicles and at least two-dozen businesses also have sustained some water damage, Johnson said. Officials were also monitoring houses on a nearby cliff.

"The storm was heavier than what we thought," Johnson said. "This one came with a vengeance."

The area also was flooded Thursday, when a failed drainage pipe tore a roughly 15-feet by 100-feet hole in the ground near homes and sent a three-foot surge of water into Capitola Village. Residents were evacuated and businesses were flooded.

No injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, crews were trying to clear debris from a rock and mud slide on a highway in the Big Sur area along the coast. Tons of rocks were expected to be removed from the slide after heavy storms closed a stretch of Highway 1 on Thursday.

The highway's north end was already closed after a chunk of roadway fell into the Pacific Ocean last week.

"It's treacherous conditions on both ends," Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones told KCBS-AM. "Travel is completely restricted."

It was not immediately known when the road would reopen, California Highway Patrol officer Eric Anderson said.

Officials in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of San Pablo on Saturday were monitoring six homes whose backyards were washed away following after a landslide due to the recent rains. Three homes have been deemed unfit for occupancy, according to city officials.

Barbara Scott, whose home of nearly 40 years was red-tagged, told KGO-TV she feared the worst.

"I'm scared. Worried. This is home," Scott said. "You look around and you say there's a possibility I can actually lose my home."

KGO-TV reports that three homes in the Northern California city of Mill Valley were also evacuated because of a rock slide.

Rain remained in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, but most of the heavy downfall had left the San Francisco Bay area, said Austin Cross, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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