Pescadero residents hope for aid after power outages and flooding

Pescadero residents have pulled together, trying to weather the recent storms that led to week-long power outages, flooding, and landslides in the small community of some 600 people in San Mateo County.

"Places where you never see creeks or streams, you have all this water just gushing down from the hillsides because it's so saturated," said Nic Erridge, a Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council member. 

Erridge says over the weekend, the main intersection and many nearby farms and businesses flooded.

"This creek was flowing here, and in the pasture and across the road I'd say about three feet high," said Erridge, who noted the community is surrounded by two creeks, "They wrap around the town, both raise, and they try to get into the marsh and fill up the marsh, but the marsh backs it up because the marsh is flat. And then you have the high tide at the ocean pushing the water back and the water just come right back up the creek." 
Waterlogged hillsides also gave way. Cal Fire shared video showing part of Stage Road in Pescadero collapsing, a section that remains blocked off and is in need of repair. 

Captain James Pfaff from the Cal Fire San Mateo County Fire Station Pescadero says they had extra resources staged to respond to the storm emergency.

"Extra equipment staffed, a lot of people held on duty to staff this equipment, a lot of preplanning with special dispatch units around the county,' said Capt. Pfaff.

Even the fire station was surrounded with sandbags, as the nearby creek flooded the roads.

"It crested right here past Pescadero Creek bridge. Both lanes were blocked in both directions. We've had numerous flood closures," said Capt. Pfaff.

Massive piles of debris were piled alongside the creek beds. County crews had to remove large logs which were blocking the creeks' flow and causing the flooding. 

The power pole nearby was also pushed over and had to be replaced.

"I personally was without power for 6 days. Other people longer I think 7 days," said Erridge.

Many trees along the creek banks were brought down.

Erridge says Pescadero residents have supported each other throughout the storms, helping neighbors clear debris and even staffing the emergency shelter when the Red Cross was unable to access the site. 

Pescadero is unincorporated, however, and has no funds to cover disasters. 

Erridge says the local farmworkers are the hardest hit in the community. 

"When it's flooding like this and raining, you're not farming. And if they're not farming they're not working and so they're missing out on moeny and paychecks," said Erridge.
State and county officials did visit Pescadero and the community is hoping that they will get funding to help with the cleanup and improving infrastructure.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or