Click photo to enlarge
First time home owner Justin Nordgreen watched the San Lorenzo River flood his Felton Grove neighborhood and come within inches of his back door. (Dan Coyro/Sentinel)

SANTA CRUZ -- A day after heavy rains caused the San Lorenzo River to spill over its banks, a number of roads throughout Santa Cruz County remained closed and more rain is expected Tuesday.

On Monday though, the sky was bright as residents rushed around doing last-minute Christmas shopping and other holiday preparations. A line that stretched to the door greeted employees at the Morrissey Boulevard post office when they opened at 9 a.m.

About 50 homes in the Felton area were evacuated Sunday night after the San Lorenzo River flooded several streets, including Sylvan Way, River Road, Covered Bridge Road and Circle Road, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office. Those residents were able to return home about 11 p.m. the same night, Lt. Bob Pursley said.

Justin Nordgreen was busy cleaning up leaves and other debris outside his home in Felton Grove Monday morning. He said this was the first such storm he'd experienced at the home, which he has only owned for about a year. Floodwaters came within inches of his home but receded before causing damage, he said.

Flood waters also threatened the parking garage at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz Sunday night, prompting residents to move their cars as a preemptive measure.

"The water came to the edge but didn't quite make it in," said Santa Cruz Fire Battalion Chief Rob Young said.


Advertisement

A handful of roads remained closed Monday morning but were reopened by late afternoon, Santa Cruz County Public Works employees reported. Mud slides and water on the roadways kept portions of Highland Way, Rodeo Gulch Road, Eureka Canyon Road and Hazel Dell Road partially closed, and drivers were urged to be cautious.

The rain and wind also took down power lines throughout the area, leaving about 55 Pacific Gas & Electric customers temporarily without power Monday. Crews from PG&E were working to remove the downed wires and restore power as quickly as possible.

The National Weather Service is predicting more rain for Christmas Day, mostly after 4 p.m. and continuing through the night. Winds could gust as high as 18 miles per hour. Showers are also expected Wednesday morning.

The San Lorenzo Valley was doused with the most rain in the area, with the National Weather Service measuring three-day rainfall totals of 9.76 inches in Ben Lomond and 7.8 in Boulder Creek. A little more than six inches had fallen in three days in the Las Cumbres Peak area, the weather service reported. Totals were lower in the Watsonville and Corralitos areas, measuring between two and three inches of rainfall from Dec. 22-24.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96

Weather Outlook

Tuesday: High 55, Low 45. Rain expected after 4 p.m.
Wednesday: High 54, Low 39. Showers likely before 10 a.m., mostly cloudy in the evening.
Thursday: High 55, Low 37. Mostly sunny during the day.
Friday: High 54, Low 42. Mostly sunny, chance of rain in the evening.
SOURCE: National Weather Service