HOLLISTER, Calif. - Nearly a month after a levee breach along the Pacheco Creek in Hollister, there’s still no relief for the people living there. Heavy rainfall has flooded the Lovers Lane community at least three times.
On Thursday, KION got our first look at the initial levee break which flooded dozens of homes on January 11. Since the first failure, it has continued to grow.
"We started trying to get some work done on it to get it closed and we just ran out of time," said Kevin O’Neill, the emergency services manager for the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services.
Crews built a road that leads directly to the breach, but recent rains came fast and furious, stopping crews and machinery in their tracks.
There are two large breaches and other areas of concern along that creek that are complicating the cleanup. Mother Nature wasn’t giving anyone a break on Thursday.
"Right now what I'm worried about is that the creek is already up, whereas before it was a lot lower, so it only needs to go a couple feet higher and we'll start having flooding again," O’Neill said.
O’Neill said while there has been some creek cleanup, there’s not much that can be done until the waters recede and the ground dries. Then, crews can reassess the damage.
“Give us some time to rebuild, fix some of the drainage, the culverts, these levees and hope that we get a break over the summer,” O’Neill said.