In a video for Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, photojournalist Kevin Painchaud talks to residents who have stayed behind in Pajaro after the small agricultural town was flooded when a levee along the swollen Pajaro River failed. If they leave Pajaro, to seek medicine or medical treatment, for example, they say they won’t be able to return.
More than half of the 3,500 residents of Pajaro evacuated after a breach of the Pajaro River levee flooded the agricultural town in north Monterey County last weekend. Those who decided to stay told Lookout’s Kevin Painchaud that if they leave, they wouldn’t be allowed to return — a particularly fraught choice for those with medical needs.
In the video above for Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, Painchaud compiled footage and photos of conditions in Pajaro since the flood — including a visit Wednesday from California Gov. Gavin Newsom — and spoke to residents about their decision to remain behind.