Monterey County Sees Massive Flooding After Levee Breaks

Thousands of Monterey County residents were evacuated over the weekend after another atmospheric river broke the Pajaro River's levee. 

The levee failure occurred Friday just before midnight, completely flooding the town of Pajaro. At least 90 rescues have been carried out by the National Guard, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire, and both Salinas and North Monterey County firefighters.

"We were hoping to avoid and prevent this situation, but the worst case scenario has arrived with the Pajaro River overtopping and levee breaching at about midnight," Monterey Board of Supervisors Chairman Luis Alejo said on Twitter.  

As of Saturday, 8,500 people in Monterey County were under evacuation orders, including 1,700 residents of Pajaro. Pajaro is a majority Latino farming town known for its fresh strawberries. 

Crews were working around the clock to fix the levee breach, which is estimated to be around 120 feet wide. Residents in Pajaro have been advised to use bottled water.

The worst may not be over. A new atmospheric river will hit Monday, threatening more flooding in central and Northern California. According to the Weather Prediction Center, "the rain will impact increasingly sensitive portions of central California that were hit hard by the rainfall on Friday and early Saturday.” 

Click here to donate to Pajaro flood victims.