APTOS — Communities along the Santa Cruz County coastline were heavily damaged during high tide on Thursday, but when the sun rose on Friday morning, many people had already started picking up broken debris.
Dozens of homes were badly damaged along a road that stretched for about a mile on the beach drive in Rio del Mar. As sea levels rose, piles of debris tore through concrete walls and flooded front yards and living rooms. A wet sand trail about a foot deep was left in the same spot along with driftwood the size of a midsize sedan.
The Rio del Mar area’s evacuation order was lifted on Friday, allowing residents to return to their homes, assess the damage, and begin restoration work, according to county sheriff’s office spokesperson Ashley Keane. I got
At the end of the beach drive, the foundation pillars of Chuck Holley’s home were completely exposed, jutting awkwardly into the sand where they had been laid out more than 60 years ago. Thursday’s powerful current lifted the 1,171-square-foot home from its foundation and moved it about 30 feet inland, leaving it almost completely unscathed.
“There were no broken windows or glasses falling off the shelves. “Unfortunately, I don’t think the house will survive, so I’m going to demolish it.”
The house was originally built by Holly’s parents in 1957 and has been in the family ever since. In recent years, it has served primarily as a rental property and family gathering place, but Hawley said the prospects for rebuilding are “not yet in sight” because of the exorbitant costs of such projects. Stated.
“We’ve seen tsunamis, experienced fire seasons and earthquakes,” Hawley said. “No damage.”
Just a few minutes away, Jim and Stacey Alves were themselves busy cleaning up. The raging sea waves had no problem reaching the door, and the foundations and windows of the house looked healthy, but the tide had pushed the furniture aside, leaving a thick layer of sand that they had been raking away.
“It took at least six to eight waves to really hit the house,” said Stacey Alves. Before the power went out, the couple was able to watch the storm unfold from another location through her live feed of a building-mounted security camera.
Jim Alves, whose family lives in Morgan Hill, plans to continue cleanup efforts over the next few days, check with neighbors, and prepare for more rain expected this weekend and early next week. “Baby steps,” he said calmly.
Broken doors, dark sand, and trails of frothy sea foam stretched down Beach Drive to Rio’s flat district. Parts of Aptos Beach Drive were still flooded, with local officials directing traffic as community members passed by with a look of amazement.
In the distance stood Seacliff Pier and the remains of the historic SS Palo Alto Cement ship. The ship had mostly sunk into the sea after being battered by Thursday’s turbulent currents.
“Sea Cliff experienced extensive infrastructure damage not only to the pier connecting to the SS Palo Alto, but also to day-use and campground areas,” said State Parks Public Safety Supervisor Gabe McKenna. “At this point, we’re doing an immediate damage assessment.
McKenna emphasized that all state coastal beaches and campgrounds will be closed until Tuesday when they reassess damage and danger within each state park, from Wilder Ranch to Sea Cliff. urged the public to avoid the parks so that they can do so and ensure public safety.
Zach Friend, District 2 Santa Cruz County Supervisor, representing the Aptos, Seacliffe and Rio Del Mar areas, said: Friend said an assessment of the damage is underway, but it’s safe to say the cost is “in the millions,” and he has sought help from state and federal officials in recovery efforts. It is working.
Santa Cruz County Deputy Administrator Melody Serino said as of Friday, there were more than 35,000 people and 15,866 structures within the coastline areas affected by Thursday’s storm, including Santa Cruz, Capitola and Aptos. All were given evacuation warnings or orders to evacuate.
She said there was an estimated $10 million to $15 million in damages across the county after the storm that hit New Year’s Eve weekend, and that number could be “quite significant” once an assessment of this recent storm is complete. “We expect it to increase.
With heavy rains expected this weekend and early next week, the storm impact situation remains fluid, and Friend said low-lying areas such as Rio’s tidal flats could be affected, even though no storm surges are expected. It said it “could lead to additional flooding” in coastal areas. .
Aric Sleeper of Sentinel contributed to this report.
3-day weather forecast for the Santa Cruz area from the National Weather Service.
Saturday: Rain, possible thunderstorms after 10 PM
Sunday: Showers and thunderstorms possible before 10 AM
Monday: Rain, can be heavy at times. Extend until Tuesday.