Evacuation orders and warnings remained in effect in various parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains through Thursday morning as the atmospheric river storm system made a second pass through the area late Wednesday, increasing the potential for debris flows and other problems.
The evacuations are largely in areas in or near burn scars from last August's CZU Lightning Complex fires, with more than 5,000 people estimated to be affected in jurisdictions of the Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek and Felton fire protection districts and the Santa Cruz County Fire Department. People can find out if they are in an evacuation zone by clicking here.
No major mudslides or other significant problems were reported from the first storm system that came in late Tuesday and early Wednesday, but Brian Garcia from the National Weather Service said a "second punch" is set to arrive Wednesday night that could bring more rain showers and might prompt flash flood warnings in areas near the CZU fire burn scars.
Santa Cruz County sheriff's Chief Deputy Chris Clark emphasized that people in evacuation zones should remain away from those areas since debris flows or other problems are still possibilities.
"Those that are displaced, you want to get back home, but we just want to make sure we're protecting everybody that lives in those areas," Clark said.
He said deputies have been patrolling the area and did not have any reports of suspicious people in evacuation zones or have to respond to any welfare checks overnight.
Three "temporary evacuation point" shelters had been set up around the county for evacuees, but two closed as of 1 p.m. Wednesday. The location at San Lorenzo Valley High School at 7105 state Highway 9 will remain open, but sites at the Scotts Valley Community Center and Pacific Elementary School are now closed.
A call center has also been set up at (831) 454-2181, and a map of county road closures can be found here.