County avoids major damage from latest storm

Rain passed through the region this weekend, but didn’t devastate homes and roads like in months prior.

Recent rainfall and flooding over the last couple months caused San Benito County to declare a local emergency for flooding in the areas around Lovers Lane, as well as Shore Road and San Felipe Road properties. Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency for the county shortly after. President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for California on Feb. 14.

National Weather Service Forecaster Will Pi said the region received .23 inches of rain over the weekend. He said rain could return in the middle of next week.

“It’s going to be dry for several days,” Pi said Monday afternoon. “We have a storm this weekend, but it’s supposed to be well north of us.”

Forecaster Steve Anderson said a station in the region had received 17.06 inches of rain from Oct. 1, 2016 to Tuesday morning. Those numbers fluctuate locally depending on geography and elevation, while the average amount of rainy-season precipitation for the area is generally 11 to 13 inches.

Emergency Services Manager Kevin O’Neill said the Pacheco Creek didn’t respond much to the weekend rain.

“The creek didn’t respond too much,” O’Neill said Monday. “It went up four feet and went right back down. There are no major impacts as far as we can see.”

County inspection teams discovered a Pacheco Creek levee breach on Jan. 12. According to the county office of emergency services, the breach is about 100-feet long by 50-feet deep. More levee breaches have occurred since then.

While there isn’t a timeline for the levee repairs, the county is actively working on it, O’Neill said.

“Right now, we’re wrapping up getting bids and we’re hoping to get moving on fixing the levee soon,” he said.

In addition to getting started on levee repairs, the county is working on roads damaged by the recent storms.

“We’re still filling potholes,” O’Neill said. “There are major road repairs that go beyond that, but right now we’re focused on immediate threats to people’s cars. We’re hoping soon to transition to big picture and get some of those roads that were damaged replaced.”

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