It happened early Tuesday morning in Winton at the Sierra Apartments on Winton Way. Firefighters said about 20 units suffered significant water damage but most of the 88 units at the complex were vacant. The 30 units that were occupied in the complex lost water as a result so families had to spend the night elsewhere.
The Merced County Office of Emergency Services and the Red Cross have set up a shelter at the Evergreen Christian Center in Winton to get residents out of the cold. The Red Cross anticipates the shelter may have to be open for at least two to three days. Though the exact count is still unknown, up to 200 residents may be displaced.