Coastal towns brace for next round of wet weather, snowpack survey underwhelms

It was a race against the clock. Crews from California State Parks tried to dig, saw and move what they could before the next storm hit.

"Today we brought in all hands on deck, everybody that we could pull from San Mateo through Santa Cruz. We have heavy equipment here. We pulled in from Sacramento. And we're trying to get this back to clean and stable," said Chris Spohrer, District Superintendent of California State Parks.

Their focus has been on Rio Del Mar and Seacliff State Beaches, both of which sustained serious damage last week. High waves hit Thursday, and again early Saturday, bringing debris ashore and knocking out infrastructure.

Spohrer said it's hard to keep up with the damage at this level with the frequency of the storms. 

At Venus Cocktails and Kitchen, they're in the same boat. High waves were lapping at their doorstep last week.

"It just is what it is. We've got to clean up while the weather is good," said Sean Venus, who owns Venus Cocktails and Kitchen and Venus Pie, Coffee and Pizza.

And so, they're scraping and spraying the muck away knowing more rain and waves are in the forecast.

"Hopefully, we don't get more sand back in here. It would be really kind of crazy for us to feel like we have to do this over again. I mean, this is the second time we've done it. I don't want to do it a third time so soon," said Venus.

Randy Smith doesn't either. He spent the afternoon clearing debris from in front of his house.

"Just doing my part for the neighborhood here," says Smith.

He calls this cycle of weather and waves worrisome. He just hopes the flooding isn't as bad next time.

"It's Mother Nature. You just hope for the best," Smith said.

In the North Bay, people are noticing the rain is much less than this time last year

California is entering a crucial 90-day period, which is the state's peak rainy season. 

On Tuesday, the California Department of Water Resources did it's first snow survey of 2024. They've been conducting this survey for the last 95 years.  

Today, the snow was sparse, whereas a year ago, it was five feet deep. 

"It's really still too early to determine what kind of year we'll have in terms of wet or dry," said state snow survey chief Sean de Guzman. 

The next official snow measurements will come February 1. 


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