‘It’s Pretty Scary’: Storms Good News for Drought-Stricken California, But Cause Trouble in Santa Cruz Mountains

The Bay Area has experienced a particularly wet winter, but the Santa Cruz Mountains have likely been the hardest hit by the rash of storms.

Crews hired by Santa Cruz County on Friday scrambled to shore up and protect what's left of Bear Creek Road near Boulder Creek. The road is too important to shut down so a new traffic light regulates drivers on the one remaining lane. But workers say it'll take weeks to make significant repairs to the road.

As the rain came down sporadically on Friday, residents also frantically tried to repair other damage that previous bouts of rain and wind have caused.

Employees of Travis Tree Professionals have been working around the clock, lifting huge trees off that have fallen on properties and many times, directly on homes. The looming storm has left workers nervous.

“Right now, it's pretty scary,” said Bob Pilgreen who owns Travis Tree Professionals. “Some of our heritage oak trees are just heavy, and the ground is so wet, they're just falling everywhere."

The storms have helped a region that suffered for years from the effects of a historic drought. But now, officials are keeping a close eye on brimming reservoirs to make sure the imminent storm doesn’t bring too much of a good thing.

“We're monitoring levels downstream as well,” said Garth Hall with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “We make sure of that, and if we think there [are] additional storms with potential flood flows, we're notifying communities downstairs to be on the watch as well.”

Those potential flood flows are going to be a concern for a lot of crews because one disaster usually causes others, according to Hall.

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