The ongoing winter storm caused flooding in several neighborhoods along the San Juan Grade Road in Salinas.
Some residents started their Monday morning with water and mud rushing into their home. Many said they felt ill-prepared for the rainfall and had trouble accessing county resources like sandbags.
Raul Quintero Ramos who said he woke up to a rush of water surrounding his property. He and his family members spent their day in raincoats as they tried to clear out flooded ditches in their yard.
The family also removed tree branches and other debris they say were blocking many storm drains on the street.
"We're going through our things trying to dig up our old emergency supplies, but it's bad," he said. "There's even water under our house and now we have to figure out how to get it out."
Many residents like Ramon Maciel, whose guest house was flooded, said their biggest concern was lack of emergency resources and supplies such as sand bags. He and a couple others were able to use their own but said they only had a small supply.
Residents shoveled mud and water into storm drains while others did their best to create barricades and keep drivers from entering the flooded areas just outside their homes.
"We weren't prepared because the creeks weren't cleaned out this year by Cal Works," Maciel said. "We called for help last year and they brought us sandbags but this year, they're closed until after New Years."
He and other neighbors like Juan Nunez say this is not the first time they've seen these types of damages and that more work should be done by the county to prevent future floods. Some residents believe the county should assess water levels and mudflow they say comes from nearby ranches.
"They stopped cleaning the ditches around eight years ago," he said. "I called the county before the wintertime and they said there's no budget."
Monterey County Communications Manager Maia Carroll said county crews don't typically enter private properties for debris cleanup. Crews are doing road clearing and checking storm drains. She added that homeowners need to contact their insurance companies for assistance with flooding clean up.
Residents say local fire crews showed up to asses the area and offered to help anyone in need of evacuations. However, they say they were not able to find additional sand bags.
A spokesperson with the Monterey County Regional Fire District confirmed a fire prevention specialist was present and observed the runoff through the San Juan Grade area. The Californian was told staff were out on emergency calls and no one was immediately available to provide a statement.
For now, the residents say they will remain vigilant together and be on the lookout for further damages.
"We're on standby," Monica Maciel said. "Everybody's got boots and we just have to be ready."
Forecasts show rain is expected to continue into Wednesday.
San Juan Grade and Rogge roads are currently open but other roads in the Bolsa Knolls area are taped off by the fire department.
A current sandbag stockpile, bag distribution map can be found at Monterey County's website. A list of locations can also be found on the county's website.
This article originally appeared on Salinas Californian: Winter storm causes flooding along San Juan Grade Road in Salinas
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