CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Emergency Operation teams across the Central Coast are preparing for rain and the upcoming storm season.
The last storm season was unlike any other disaster they have seen in recent years including El Nino from 1995, said Josh Murphy. He spent 20 years digging out a channel and had a pond that collect the rainwater. However, that pond was quickly filled and was not enough to protect his property.
"My neighbor's property just got inundated for the most part," he said. "But, it all stopped right here and a little farther down there. It took all my stuff all the way down there and we're still hunting stuff out of the river."
A friend of Murphy's friend went to his ranch and spent two days digging with an excavator. According to Murphy, the barrier created will at least protect the front half of the property and keep the water going down the channel where it needs to go.
"This is just a stopgap to just keep the word that dirt and the water that's coming down," he said. "But, there's so much of that mountainside up there that's just ready to come down. There's no telling when it's going to, if it's going to or if it does all at once."
The Santa Cruz County Emergency Operation is monitoring an expected storm up north and rain that's also expected to start at the end of this week. In a Twitter post, Santa Cruz County said, "it may meet debris flow thresholds for the CZU fire burn scar."
The Emergency Operations Center is monitoring a storm predicted to impact Northern California later this week, including rainfall beginning Sunday that may meet debris flow thresholds for the #CZUFire burn scar. #KnowYourZone by looking up your address at https://t.co/s5GvnBLmyF. pic.twitter.com/iH5JkOhSbV— Santa Cruz County (@sccounty) October 19, 2021
“It's a little hard to say at this time, how likely that is, it's not a relatively high amount of rainfall, but what we're concerned about is if it comes down all at once," said Jason Hoppin with Santa Cruz County. "So we're working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor this.”
According to Hoppin, debris flow risk lasts for about three years after a major fire. It's important for people to know what zone they're in, in order to be prepared in case evacuations are needed, Hoppin said.