Anticipating El Nino, supervisors declare flood emergency

Action allows for clearing of Pacheco creekbed without a stream bed alteration permit
Brett Barnes.jpg

Though the full force of expected winter storms have yet to be felt in San Benito County, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declared a flood emergency on Pacheco Creek where it flows under a bridge along Lovers Lane.

By passing a resolution finding that an emergency exists because of the potential for flooding "and endangerment of persons and property" in the area in the northern part of the county, work can be performed to clear the creek bed without a stream bed alteration permit.

County Planner Brent Barnes, in a report to the board, said the creek is overgrown with native and invasive vegetation, which could block flood waters and "cause substantial flooding that endangers the bridge itself as well as lives and property in the vicinity."

The resolution permits the county to trim or remove vegetation within 500 feet of the bridge. Barnes told the board that he expects more flood mitigation efforts to be conducted throughout the county ahead of expected El Nino rains.

Pacheco Creek is formed by the confluence of the north and south forks of Pacheco Creek about 7 miles west of Pacheco Pass. The creek generally follows Highway 152, passing from Santa Clara County to San Benito County, and continuing until it empties into San Felipe Lake, the source of the Pajaro River. 

BenitoLink Staff