Crews in Santa Cruz Mountains Clean Up, Prep For Next Storm

The latest storm has wreaked havoc all across the Bay Area, and even when the rain stopped, crews stayed busy with cleanup and prepping for a bigger system this weekend.

A creek in Felton rose significantly during Tuesday's and Wednesday's downpours, but dropped quite a bit after the rain died down Wednesday afternoon.

But a new storm is looming off the coast, bringing with it heavy rainfall that could easily push the water level up to flood levels, impacting roads and homes in Felton and nearby Boulder Creek.

Flooding in the area was not the biggest issue Wednesday. Clearing fallen trees and mudslides from roadways kept crews the busiest.

"It happens every year," said Jeff Railing, of the Santa Cruz County Public Works Department. "It's just that we have had a lot of drought. There's just not much holding the soil together right now."

Even after the roads reopened, problems persisted with residual mud and slick pavement. Tow truck drivers were operating around the clock, pulling people out of trouble.

"I started at six this morning, and I haven't stopped so far," said Jeff Willbanks of Ross's Towing.

One car slid off of Highway 17, near the summit, after it hit the front end of another car that had crashed earlier.

This weekend, it's expected to be busier as an even bigger storm makes landfall Saturday.

"We'll be busy all weekend," Willbanks said. "People ought to just stay home."

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