Hotels filling up as evacuees look for shelter

Accommodations are filling up around the county
(Mark Conley / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Hotels in Watsonville are reporting a tide of evacuees looking for overnight accommodations. Rodeway Inn in Watsonville said that it was “almost full” at around 4:30 p.m. and that well over half of the people at the hotel were locals responding to mandatory evacuation orders. Hampton Inn & Suites reported a full house with well over three-quarters of their 112 rooms occupied by local evacuees.

Earlier in the day, the city of Watsonville issued evacuation orders for several neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city adjacent to the Pajaro River and Corralitos Creek.

Sue Kinsella, who lives in the Bay Village neighborhood along Corralitos Creek, was spending the night at the Hampton Inn, and she was furious about it. She said that she and her neighbors had known about the danger of the creek for years, that the stream bed was too shallow and prone to flooding.

“Why hasn’t anybody done anything about this in all this time?” she said. She was notified of the order, she said, by text message. Showing the notice on her phone, she pointed angrily to the suggested sites for re-locations. Listed last was “Animal Shelter.”

“‘Animal Shelter’?” she said. “Are they going to put us in cages?”


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