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UPDATES: Flooding And Mudflows in Monterey County

@mcrfd on Twitter (Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District).
On Wednesday morning, Monterey County Regional Fire were working with property owners in the River Road area in Salinas after last night's mudslides.

Note: This page has been retired and will no longer be updated as of 01.29.21 at 6 p.m.

Monterey County lifted evacuation orders for the areas surrounding the Carmel and River fire burn scars on Friday afternoon. Evaucation orders remain in place for are surrounding the Dolan fire burn scar. On Tuesday, an evacuation order was annouced for those living within and two miles down slope of the Dolan Fire burn scar. Late Tuesday, an evacuation order was issued for those living within and two miles down slope of the Carmel and River fire burn scars. Monterey County issued an evacuation order Thursday morning for the Carmel River Lagoon area. That order was lifted later in the day.

Helpful Resources:

Know Your Zone - zones that are under evacuation order or warning plus useful resources.

Emergency alerts

Text message updates - Text “MCWINTER” to 888777


PG&E power outages.


Credit Monterey County

UPDATE: 01.29.21 at 12:30 a.m. The American Red Cross has provided an update on their work during this week’s winter storm and evacuations. As of Friday morning, 87 disaster responders worked in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties throughout the week. Over 2,000 meals or snacks were provided to those displaced and over 300 evacuees were assisted with hotel rooms.


UPDATE: 01.29.21 at 10:15 a.m. Caltrans says Highway 1 in the Big Sur area will remain closed to through traffic until further notice. This is because of the partial washout of the road at Mile Marker 30 near Big Creek Bridge. The state agency said damage assessments and repairs would begin at daybreak on Friday.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 4:30 p.m. The evacuation order for the Carmel River Lagoon area, including Mission Fields, has been lifted. Monterey County emergency officals lifted it just after 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. 


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 3:45 p.m. Monterey County officials report the evacuation orders for residents who live near the burn scars of the Carmel, River and Dolan fires will be in effect for another day or two. The Sheriff’s Office will communicate with the National Weather Service for a final decision. 


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 3:30 p.m. Monterey County Regional Fire and other agencies report they've been assessing the River Road area in Salinas, which experienced mudflows and flooding. The agencies say they have been contacting residents and confirming their safety. Crews will use sandbags and heavy equipment to move the mud and debris.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 3:25 p.m. The COVID-19 testing site in Soledad is closed today due to the storm. The stie is contacting people who have appointments to reschedule. The Monterey County Health Department expects it will reopen tomorrow. 


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 3:25 p.m. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office reports that flooding in the Carmel River Lagoon area has damaged 10 homes. Of those, five homes have about a foot of water throughout and the other five homes have water in the garages. The water is now receding and county officials reported the Carmel River Lagoon sandbar breached just before noon.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 9:45 a.m. PG&E has released an impact update on the winter storm many parts of California is currently experiencing. Since the storm began on Tuesday, the utility said 575,000 customers have lost power due to the winds, rain and snow. By late Wednesday 75 percent had got power back with about 16,000 customers in the Bay Area still affected. 


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 9:30 a.m. Looking at the weather forecast for Thursday -- the National Weather Service says rain showers continue to push inland this morning and will continue to do so throughout the day before diminishing tonight. Central Coast residents can expect brief moderate to heavy rainfall with isolated thunderstorms a possibility.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 9:15 a.m. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has upgraded and Evacuation Warning to an Evacuation Order for the Carmel River Lagoon area, including all roads south of Santa Lucia Ave and Mission Fields, effective immediately.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 8:25 a.m. The National Weather Service says rain showers are continuing over much of our region Thursday morning. Adding that scattered showers will continue into the afternoon with a chance of an isolated thunderstorm or two.


UPDATE: 01.28.21 at 8:20 a.m. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has issued an Evacuation Warning for the Carmel River Lagoon area, including all roads south of Santa Lucia Ave and Mission Fields. A Flood Warning has been issued for the lagoon area until 5 p.m.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 5:25 p.m. PG&E says that more than 3,700 customers in Monterey County and just over 50 in Santa Cruz County remain without power as of 5 p.m. That’s down from just just under 10,000, across both counties,as of early Wednesday. 


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 5:20 p.m. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for the area surrounding the Dolan Fire burn scar until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 4:35 p.m. SPCA Monterey County says they are caring for 41 evacuated pets, including 17 horses, 14 cats, nine dogs and one donkey due. The animal shelter is offering assistance to those evacuating potential debris flows. They ask pet owners to not leave their pets behind and if they need assistance with sheltering, please call the SPCA at 831-373-2631 during the day or 831-264-5424 at night.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 4:30 p.m. The Monterey County Sheriff’s office says anyone in the evacuation zones close to the Carmel and River fire burn scars should leave the area now. They expect rain to continue throughout the night and as the rain continues, the risk of flooding and debris flows increases.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 4:20 p.m. Monterey County says there are various locations where residents can collect sandbags. Residents should bring shovels and plan to fill and load the bags themselves at stockpile locations. Limited assistance is available. The county shared this helpful video on how to use sandbags to protect your home.


Credit Monterey County

 UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 4:10 p.m. River road in Salinas was affected by mudslides overnight with county officials saying up to a foot of mud or material was reported in some parts. Crews have been working throughout the day to clear the roadway. In Carmel Valley, Cachagua Road was a concern for debris flows, but at noon Wednesday the county’s public works team said the road was passable with only rocks and water pooling in the roadway. 


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 4 p.m. The Red Cross has been staffing around-the-clock temporary evacuation points in both Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. As of midnight early Wednesday morning, they were providing hotel accommodations for nearly 400 people (381) in nearly 200 (198) rooms. These rooms were in a total of 12 hotels.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 2:05 p.m. Across Monterey County,  more than 6,000 PG&E customers are without power, as of noon. Most live in the cities of Carmel, Salinas and Pebble Beach. When traffic signals are out on roadways, it's important for drivers to treat intersections as a stop sign or all-way stop and to proceed with caution. 


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 2 p.m. A Flash Flood Warning for the River Fire burn scar and Carmel River burn scar is in effect until 3:15 p.m. There is also a Flash Flood Warning for the Dolan Fire burn scar in effect until 3:30 p.m. High winds are anticipated for the Santa Lucia Mountains including the Los Padres National Forest and Big Sur coast until 11 p.m.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 10:20 a.m. The National Weather Service says even though the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall have backed off for most of the Bay Area, chances for breezy conditions and scattered showers will continue through Thursday. They are forecasting that higher elevations in the Santa Cruz Mountains may see another two inches of rainfall. The atmospheric river has been focused over southern Monterey County this morning.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 10:10 a.m. PG&E has reported that almost 10,000 customers were without power as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The majority of those affected are In Monterey County with just over 9,500 customers. In Santa Cruz County just under 200 customers are without people.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 9:40 a.m. The National Weather Service has released some 24 hour precipitation totals. As of 7:36 a.m. Wednesday, Monterey received 1.04 inches. Watsonville - 1.69 inches. Ben Lomond Mtn - 2.89 inches. Santa Cruz - 3.10 inches. Boulder Creek 3.52 inches. Scotts Valley - 4.10 inches. Hearst Castle - 5.20 inches.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 9:00 a.m. Flooding has been reported in Salinas in the Old Stage Road and Hartnell Road area. Monterey County Regional Fire says multiple vehicles have attempted to get through the water and have got stuck, requiring assistance. They are asking the public to avoid the area.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 9:00 a.m. River Road in Salinas from Chualar River Road to Parker Canyon Road has been closed due to flooding and mud. That’s according to Monterey County Regional Fire.


UPDATE: 01.27.21 at 8:50 a.m. A Flash Flood Warning for the Dolan Fire burn scar area remains in effect until 9:30 a.m. Wednesday (January 27). Overnight, a Flash Flood Warning was in effect for the Carmel and River fire burn scar areas -- that ended at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.


UPDATE: 01.26.21 at 3:45 p.m. Monterey County has announced an evacuation order for residents living within and two miles down slope of the River and Carmel fires’ burn scars. The order goes into effect at 4 p.m. (Tuesday, January 26).


UPDATE: 01.26.21 at 1:10 p.m.  Monterey County has announced an evacuation order for those living within and two miles down slope of the Dolan fire burn scar, in the Big Sur area. The specific zones being told to evacuate are:

Zone A - Big Creek
Zone B1 - Lucia North
Zone B2 - Lucia South
Zone C2 - Partington
Zone J - Prewitt Ridge Area

The county says an evacuation order means that danger is imminent and people should leave the area immediately. Adding that, residents who choose to ignore the evacuation order are urged to remember the following safety information: If rain is coming down, get to high ground.

UPDATE: 01.26.21 at 12:50 p.m. The National Weather Service (NWS) says the approaching atmospheric river will arrive in the Monterey Bay region by Tuesday night. Strong gusty southerly winds will accompany the heaviest rain from late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Wind gusts will be 40-50mph with gusts as high as 70mph over higher peaks. When studying the risks for debris flows the NWS says, “While there is the potential that all of the burn scars in our forecast area may meet debris flow criteria during this event, the primary target of the heaviest precipitation looks to be the coastal slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains and the Santa Lucia Range.”


UPDATE: 01.26.21 at 10:15 a.m. Those in need of assistance with evacuating or sheltering their pets are encouraged to call SPCA Monterey County on (831) 373 2631 during that day or (831) 264 5424 at night. 


UPDATE 01.26.21 at 9:45 a.m. State Route 1 in Big Sur will be closed with barricades beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday. That’s because of the approaching rainstorm and threat of potential debris flows in the area. Closures are expected until Thursday, January 28.


UPDATE 01.26.21 at 9:30 a.m. With heavy rain headed towards the Central Coast, Monterey County is bringing in crews to work at the Carmel Lagoon area Tuesday. They will work to lower and contour the sandbar at Carmel River State Beach as part of a lagoon management plan. These efforts are aimed at minimizing flood potential in the adjacent community. The county is bringing in heavy equipment and plans to move an estimated 150 cubic yards of sand.


UPDATE: 01.25.21 at 4 p.m. On Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. an evacuation warning went into effect in Monterey County for all residents living within and two miles down slope of the River, Carmel and Dolan fires. Officials say this warning is being given well in advance of an upcoming storm that has the high likelihood of causing debris flows. 

The National Weather Service says from Tuesday, widespread moderate to heavy rainfall is expected across the Central Coast along with strong southerly wind gusts. Adding that, Tuesday night through Monday morning is the likeliest window for debris flows. 

County officials say the current evacuation warning will be upgraded to an evacuation order if a Flash Flood Warning is announced. They want residents who live in dangerous areas to consider leaving sooner, before the order is issued. That’s because once an evacuation order has been issued there will likely be less than 30 minutes to evacuate.

This is a developing story.