Santa Cruz Mountain region preps for flooding and atmospheric river storms

The entire Bay Area is under flood watch as another atmospheric river storm is expected Thursday and throughout the weekend.  

People in Felton Grove are still trying to recover from the flooding in January. Piles of mud can still be seen in their yards, and now they're just moving everything they can to higher ground.  

"For me, this could be worse than any of the other floods we had in January," said Daniel Alexander, a Felton Grove Resident. 

Alexander says he still needs to remove mud from his property from the January floods. With six to eight inches of rainfall expected in Santa Cruz County this weekend, flood-weary residents like Alexander are taking precautions.  

"We are fortunate our living space is on the second floor, and we have an extra bedroom that we’re going to be loading a lot of stuff in. I also have a trailer that I’m just going to start loading things up in," said Alexander.   

Alexander says he bought his home in Felton Grove two years ago and was well aware of potential flooding but didn’t think he’d have to deal with so much flooding this soon.  

"To hear that we have another Atmospheric River, which has now become my two favorite words. Not! Oh man, it’s pretty brutal," said Alexander.    

SEE ALSO: Bay Area storm watch: what to expect from the atmospheric river

Liz Taylor-Selling has lived in the area for over 30 years and also works with disaster preparedness groups like the Felton Grove Road Association. She says based on the weather forecast, they’re expecting flood water to affect the entire neighborhood.    

"So, if the river peaks at 20 ½ or 21 feet, that means that we’re going to have 4 ½ feet of water over the banks. So that means the neighborhood will flood again. That doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily flood to five feet, but it will flood high enough to have a significant impact here," Taylor-Selling said. 

Alexander also mentioned that he and his neighbors have had a difficult time removing the mud and they’d like to use County Service Areas or CSA funds to do it. 

Santa Cruz County officials said residents will have to pay upfront to remove the mud themselves, but they still have a week to apply to be reimbursed by FEMA.