More than 239 people have been rescued in the Pajaro area in Monterey County, California, after heavy rain created flooding and hazardous conditions on the west coast, Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto said.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, she said officials use high-water vehicles and boats to perform those rescues. More than 2,000 people have also been evacuated from the Pajaro area which was hit hard by flooding, Nieto said.
“We’re asking people to please leave,” she said.
Nieto added that the sheriff’s office does not have the resources to force people to evacuate, but pleaded for residents to listen to warnings and guidance, stressing the danger of affected areas.
She cautioned people still in Pajaro not to drink the water, adding that environmental officials are working to make sure it is safe.
For people who were evacuated and displaced from their homes, some local hotels have been taking in families, said Rob O’Keefe from the Monterey Convention and Visitors Bureau.
More than 30 hotels are participating in the evacuation program, he said, but some issues are arising when the power goes out. O'Keefe said they have also reached out to hotels in neighboring counties that still have electricity to try to work around that problem.