Flood protection project update for Pajaro Valley Residents

A new levee project in Pajaro Valley to help protect people's homes from flooding. Thursday, those living in the area got to learn about the progress.

Dozens of Pajaro Valley residents turned out to learn if they'd be protected the next time we're hit with powerful winter storms.

They heard from local leaders and the federal government about how a levee project is going to prevent flooding similar to what they've experienced in the past.

"I don't even think that we have room for the amount of water that I've seen in previous years come down that river," said Lenora Barnett who lives in the flood plain, "I'm hoping that there's a change."

Santa Cruz County supervisor Greg Caput says work has been done and the county is now teamed up with the Army Corps of Engineers on an all-new plan.

"Raising banks in certain reaches of the river, also doing maintenance on the Salsipuedes Creek," Caput said.

The Army Corps of Engineers will release a draft of that plan on October 31st and then people will have a month to weigh in.

"The voice of the local community is incredibly important," said Mark Strudley the county flood control program manager, "We're here at the county to support that voice and to encourage that voice to be heard at the Army Corps of Engineers."

Though residents are glad help is coming, many say change should've come sooner.

"I think we're running a little bit late on getting that river cleaned out," Barnett said, "I can't guarantee when the rain's going to come."

Following the release of the draft plan from Army Corps of Engineers, a meeting to let residents voice opinions will be held at the Watsonville Civic Plaza on November 8th from 6 to 8 p.m.

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