Quick Take:

Storm Central keeps you updated as another atmospheric river rolls through Santa Cruz County. Check back here as Lookout...

Hello, Lookout friends. It’s Wednesday, March 15, and a welcome calm stretch is the forecast for Santa Cruz County. Sunny and dry conditions are expected Wednesday and Thursday, with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s, before an unsettled pattern returns Friday and into next week.

We’ve got the latest on the flooding in Pajaro, road closures, power outages and more, all regularly updated in Storm Central, and you can get breaking news delivered right to you with Lookout’s email and text alerts.

No time for the guided tour? Feel free to peruse Lookout’s newest stories solo.
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Hillary Ojeda talked to families displaced by the flooding in Pajaro, where lives will be disrupted for months. “It’s scary,” one 17-year-old told her, with the senior at Watsonville’s Pacific Coast Charter School not having been able to go to school this week.

The flooding in Pajaro is also the subject for Lookout columnist Claudia Sternbach, who writes in our Community Voices opinion section about the injustice of the decisions that have left the Pajaro River levee neglected in favor of areas “deemed more valuable. Worth protecting.”

The headlines also include a look ahead to sunnier days, with Ashley Spencer previewing farm-to-table dining events this spring, summer and fall in our latest Lookout Guide. So please, read along as I take you through it all.

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Left in limbo by Pajaro levee breach, families struggle with disrupted lives and school

Norma Estrada, Rafael Jimenez and their 9-year-old daughter, Xochitl Jimenez

The flooding of the community of Pajaro has left many families without incomes and potentially without homes to return to, and disrupted instruction for about 900 students in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated after the Pajaro River levee failed over the weekend, leaving residents with no idea when they’ll be allowed to return. Read more from Hillary Ojeda, with contributions from Max Chun and Kevin Painchaud.

PREVIOUSLY: Crews race to complete temporary Pajaro levee fix ahead of next storms

Shoppers Corner promoted content road block

Storm injustice: Pajaro residents deserve more than to be ‘penciled out’

The community of Pajaro in Monterey County was flooded after the Pajaro River breached its levee during an atmospheric river.

Lookout columnist Claudia Sternbach is horrified by the mud, water and sludge oozing into her husband’s longtime Pajaro tractor business. But she is furious at the human impact of the floods. “People with low incomes and lesser means, who have so much stacked against them, continue to lose out in our society,” she writes. “Someone took a good look at the price of creating a levee that was much less likely to fail and weighed that against actual human lives and decided money was more important than the lives of those living right across the county line.” Read her Community Voices opinion piece here.

MORE OPINION FROM CLAUDIA: They say getting older isn’t for the weak, so I’m gonna need to get tough

Cabrillo College PC roadblock

Santa Cruz County Job Board

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That’s what I know as we head toward the back nine of the workweek. Lookout will be keeping track of everything going on around Santa Cruz County; you can find that by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and get it delivered right to you in the form of all our other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts, by signing up right here.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Enjoy the sunshine, and have an excellent Wednesday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...