Merced focusing on flood recovery efforts, all evacuations lifted

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023
All evacuation warnings lifted in Merced County as flood recovery efforts continue
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As the rain stopped and the fog settled in Tuesday morning, the work in Merced did not slow down.

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the rain stopped and the fog settled in Tuesday morning, the work in Merced did not slow down.

Officials announced that all evacuation warnings had been lifted in Merced County as the focus shifts to recovery efforts.

City crews spent the day pumping water from flooded areas and clearing out storm drains.

Chief Derek Parker from the Merced Fire Department said it's all hands on deck.

"We have some support where we're going out and cleaning the roads, removing debris, washing the roads so that they are passable," said Parker.

Portions of the Michael O. Sullivan bike paths are flooded and the walking trail has eroded along Bear Creek. Chief Derek Parker said people should not test their luck.

"We don't need people walking the bike path, and being that close to the problem," said Parker.

At the Merced County Fairgrounds, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is set-up to help residents affected by the storm.

RELATED: Merced County on road to recovery after storms cause devastating flooding

Merced resident Mariah Oseguere's home was flooded by the storm, and nearly all of their belongings were destroyed.

"It's really hard, it makes me really sad but I'm trying not to think about it," said Oseguere.

She came to the fairgrounds to check on her application status with FEMA.

The American Red Cross has also set up shop at the fairgrounds. The volunteers have helped more than 350 Merced County storm victims since opening the shelter.

Disaster program specialist Evan Anthony said the organization also has mobile trucks out in hard-hit communities.

"Wave us down. You know we'll stop for anyone that's in the community, be able to provide food, referrals, resources anything they might need," said Anthony.

FEMA wants to let folks in the hard-hit communities to know; help is on the way. It has mobile employees out today, reaching the people who can't make it to the fairgrounds.