Across Santa Cruz County, storm damage cost estimates have reached $76 million. The board of supervisors will discuss priorities with county personnel Tuesday.
Costs continue to mount as Santa Cruz County assesses storm damage to facilities and infrastructure.
Santa Cruz County builds back, prepares for an uncertain future
As a community pulls together, from Boulder Creek to Capitola to Rio Del Mar to the Pajaro Valley, Lookout brings you stories of recovery and resiliency. Send us your story, or one you know about that should be told, at email@example.com.
According to county spokesperson Jason Hoppin, damage to public infrastructure from the January storms has cost local governments at least $76 million. That includes estimates from Santa Cruz, Capitola and Watsonville. In the unincorporated parts of the county, damage costs are about $8 million for parks and $40 million for roads. Those estimates don’t include damage to private property, such as homes and businesses, or to state parks and highways within the county.
County officials are set to meet with the board of supervisors Tuesday to discuss prioritizing repairs. Hoppin said the first priority will be addressing areas where people still cannot access their homes, such as those who use Bear Creek Road, which was closed Jan. 15 by a washout.
County Public Works Director Matt Machado said Bear Creek Road is the highest priority. Other heavily affected roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains, like China Grade Road in Boulder Creek, are also priorities for immediate repairs. Rio Del Mar, which was swamped with flooding and ocean debris, saw repairs to its outfall pipes finished last week, allowing flooded streets to fully drain.
Machado said there are more than 40 emergency contracts in place — requests for labor, materials and equipment for emergency repairs — totaling $5.5 million: “A lot of that is for immediate fixes.”
Machado added that there are about 80 sites countywide with damage of varying degrees; the mountains received the most damage.