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City Proclaims Emergency After Second Flood in Three Days

Thirty inches of water raced down Capitola Avenue Saturday morning.

Update 5:27 p.m. Saturday: All flooding has been controlled through piped water diversion into Soquel Creek. 

The Capitola City Council will have an emergency meeting Sunday at 1:30 p.m., where, according to an official release, the council "is scheduled to make an emergency proclamation." The meeting will be followed by a press conference.

Sand bags are available at City Hall for public use. Full damage assessment will be done on Monday.

“I am very proud of the coordinated response of emergency-safety personnel, public works and other agencies. I hope the worst is behind us," Mayor Dennis Norton said. "I know the city of Capitola will pull together during the upcoming weeks to help Capitola get back on its feet.”

Update 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Pedestrians are now being allowed past street barriers into the village. The area, however, still remains closed to automobile traffic.

Update 1:23 p.m. Saturday: As water continues to spill down Capitola Avenue, the area is still shut off to all residents.

“Our primary objective is reconstructing the pipe," city spokesman Derek Johnson said, referring to the same pipe that broke Thursday, which caused the continued flooding. "We need to get that back in operation. Last night the volume of water was … down to a trickle. This isn’t a huge watershed. The problem is, it’s so saturated, so any water that hits just sends out volumes of water like this.”

Residents have lined the bridges over Soquel Creek for the past couple of hours, many astonished at what they saw.

“It’s unbelievable to me, because I used to walk down this road to the Village to get dinner all the time. I’m glad I do not live there right now," said Joseph Spinelli, 31.

Ten-year-old Kyle Rajala, who was with his mother and father, Greg Rajala, called the flood "crazy."

"There's just too much water," he said.

Original Report: The resurgence of heavy rains Saturday morning brought Noble Gulch Creek back to flooding levels, just as they were Thursday. Thigh-high waters are said to be once again rushing through the Village.

According to an official release from the city of Capitola, crews working on clearing leftover creek debris from the last storm were forced to "abandon their equipment and take refuge on higher ground," when they could no longer work safely in the rising water levels.

All people, from residents to business owners to patrons, have been asked to evacuate Capitola Village until further notice, and the area is closed to all pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

According to city officials, the high flood waters may have inundated sewer systems, and water may be contaminated with harmful substances. People are being advised to avoid contact with flood waters.

Evacuees make take refuge at Jade Street Community Center and New Brighton Middle School, where the American Red Cross will provide supplies. The Red Cross can be contacted at 831-427-8115.

Brad Kava (Editor) March 26, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Santa Cruz Patch...check out these pics...We got hammered in the tsunami and now Capitola is in bad shape.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) March 26, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Luckily there's sun in the forecast starting Monday.
Gwen Thomas March 26, 2011 at 11:40 PM
This year Capitola has been hit very hard. Fist we had to close due to the tsunami, and then we had to close both on Thursday and again today due to the flooding from the recent storms. In these tough economic times, this is a true hardship for many of the small business in the village. I am very glad that my shop, Avalon Visions, has not been flooded. We are just barely high enough that so far we have escaped both floods. Today, in addition to the second flooding of so many of the wonderful shops in the village, everyone had to again stop their clean up efforts to evacuate due to a possible gas leak. All of the village shops are small time and locally owned. So....don't forget us as we will look forward to continuing to serve you after these storms and unusual events pass.
Lady Sweetlove March 27, 2011 at 12:28 AM
I woke at 4 am and was surprised to hear steady rain falling. And it kept falling until rainwater ran like little rivers past my mobile home. My yard was soon dotted with spots full of pooled water and tree limbs kept breaking off my white birch trees. Even my dog refused to go out to do her business! My brother was stuck on Highway 17 when a downed tree stopped the traffic and a niece is now unable to leave her place in Felton due to a slide. And when I saw the pictures of Capitola it was like deja vu because I recall the storm of 1982 when Soquel was flooded. Everybody around the country is getting pounded, some in more dire straits than us. I just hope the worse is now over and we can look forward to Spring...you know, the season were suppose to be in and not this prolonged winter!!

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