California Gov. Gavin Newsom in Capitola Village
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Felton cleanup, school closures, levee repair and Newsom visit

Good morning, Lookout friends. It is Wednesday, Jan. 11, and Santa Cruz County is in for another round of rain, possibly heavy at times, with as much as 2 inches expected in some spots. So heed official warnings, and take it slowly and use caution when you need to be out on the road.

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Though the end of the ongoing string of storms isn’t quite in sight yet, folks in the Felton Grove neighborhood along the San Lorenzo River are diving into cleanup efforts, Christopher Neely reports, with vary degrees of optimism. “Brother, after 20 years and four floods, it’s just, like, enough,” one resident said.

Downed trees and other logistical issues mean another day of school closures Wednesday in the San Lorenzo Valley Unified district, Hillary Ojeda reports, and some schools affected by evacuation warnings in the Pajaro Valley Unified district will also remain closed. Other district schools were set to reopen, and instruction remained on track elsewhere in the county. UC Santa Cruz was also set to return to in-person classes Wednesday.

Emergency repairs are set for Wednesday on a section of the Pajaro Valley levee, which has been under strain amid the recent deluge. Wallace Baine has details on that, and also on what Gov. Gavin Newsom saw and said during a Tuesday visit to storm-damaged Capitola Village and Seacliff State Beach.

Check out our constantly updated Santa Cruz County Storm Central for extended coverage, links to evacuation zone maps and much more.

Wednesday’s headlines also including the latest in local food and drink news from Lily Belli, so onward we go.

With floodwaters quieted, Felton Grove residents dig out from under the muck and mire

Felton Grove residents will have to dig out from under the mud left by the flood for days.
(Christopher Neely / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The people of Felton Grove, a neighborhood along the San Lorenzo River in Felton, have seen two floods hit their community since the start of the new year, leaving feet of mud in the streets and debris scattered across properties. Some residents are thinking of leaving for good, while others see the floods as a way of life. Here’s what Christopher Neely found.

THE SCENE IN BOULDER CREEK: Chainsaws, generators and beer: Amid dayslong power outage, Santa Cruz Mountains community perseveres

Many Santa Cruz County schools resume Wednesday, though SLV, some Pajaro Valley schools to remain closed

A dad helps his daughter through the flooded streets in his Watsonville neighborhood
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District will open most of its schools Wednesday after closing many campuses because of storms, though several PVUSD schools affected by ongoing evacuation warnings will remain closed. After planning to reopen, the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District canceled classes Wednesday amid downed trees and other logistical issues. Santa Cruz City Schools will have regular instruction Wednesday. Details here from Hillary Ojeda.

FROM HIGHER ED: UCSC power restored and in-person instruction to resume Wednesday after storms hit Santa Cruz County


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Santa Cruz County Job Board

One last thing: Lookout is working on an ongoing series exploring working life and we’d love your input. How did you get your job? What do you love most about it? What are the biggest challenges? What do students and recent graduates need to know about how to get into your industry? Share your stories and career advice with us — email us at and put “career advice” in the subject line.

Much to keep track of around Santa Cruz County these days, and Lookout can help you stay current with breaking news alerts via email and text, which you can sign up for here. Following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram wouldn’t hurt, either.

And none of this happens without vital community support — so please consider becoming a Lookout member if you’re not already.

Stay safe, drive carefully and otherwise have an excellent Wednesday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz