Under fairer skies, water level on Pajaro River recedes

Kayakers on the Pajaro River on Thursday.
(Wallace Baine / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Pajaro River, which had neared flood stage amid the ongoing wave of storms, measured at under 26 feet in Watsonville on Thursday morning after hitting 31 feet earlier in the week.

The Pajaro River at the bridge between Watsonville and the town of Pajaro was significantly lower Thursday morning than in previous days. That’s according to a water-level marker under the bridge itself, which Tuesday reached close to 31 feet. On Thursday, it was down to between 25 and 26 feet.

Still, San Juan Road on the Monterey County side of the river was closed from the Pajaro River Bridge at Watsonville, all the way to Aromas.

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The lower levels of the river inspired at least one group to break out their kayaks and take on a mini-adventure downriver. As the trio of kayakers passed under the bridge, the man in the back of the group gestured up to onlookers at the bridge and, referring to himself, cried, “Loco!”

Much of the area along the Santa Cruz County side of the Pajaro River remained under evacuation warnings, with two zones along Highway 129 — PAJ-E029 and PAJ-E030 — still under evacuation orders, as they have been for days. See zone maps and find your zone here.


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