Rainfall totals keep climbing in wet winter for county

Recent regional rainfall broke yearly averages and even set a new wave height record in the Monterey Bay region.

San Benito County recently ratified a declaration of local emergency due to flooding in the Lovers Lane area related to recent storms. On Jan. 12, county inspection teams discovered a Pacheco Creek levee breach northeast of the bridge on Lovers Lane. According to the Office of Emergency Services, the breach is located on private property and is around 100-feet long by 50-feet deep.

Mandatory evacuations were issued Friday for residents on Lovers Lane and San Felipe Road (from Shore Road to Highway 156) due to flooding caused by rising water levels in the Pacheco Creek.

As predicted by National Weather Service Forecaster Brian Mejia, there was some brief, heavy rainfall Monday and he also said there could be some hail. Any rain received today should taper off by the evening or Tuesday morning, he said.

Beyond a 10 percent to 20 percent chance of rain Thursday, the forecast is dry for the foreseeable future, Mejia said.

According to the San Benito County Water District, Hollister had received almost eight inches of rain for the current water year, starting in October, through December. The district didn’t include data for the month of January, which is expected at the end of the month.

Compare that to Santa Cruz, who received 5.57 inches of rain during the recent storm and 11.29 inches from Jan. 1 through 22. Santa Cruz has received 26.85 inches of rain From Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 22. Normally that average is 15.47 inches.

Monterey received 2.76 inches of rain during the recent storm and 7.98 inches from month to date. The average for that time frame is 2.72 inches. Monterey has received 13.85 inches of rain from Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 22. That time frame normally averages at 7.87 inches.

Additionally, the Monterey Bay wave height record was broken this weekend at a height of 34.12 feet. The record before that was 32.8 feet set in 2008.

Despite the rain, San Benito County is still afflicted by the drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor website. As of Jan. 17, North County is classified as D2 Severe Drought, while South County is classified as D3 Extreme Drought.

“We really have no association with (drought reports), but we can say that most of the areas here, the rain we had over the past month or couple of months has really helped the drought,” Mejia said.

In Silicon Valley, San Jose received 2.39 inches of rain during the recent storm. From Jan. 1 to 22, the city received 5.39 inches. The average in this time frame is 2.31 inches.

San Jose had received 9.77 inches of rain from Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 22. The normal average for that time frame is 7.27 inches.

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