Police / Fire

Community rallies to help flood victims

Outpouring of support for residents, animals in the wake of evacuations during flooding
warming shelter flood help.jpg

In the wake of the flooding of Pacheco Creek that forced the evacuation of residents and animals on Lovers Lane, various community members and agencies have stepped up to help those in need.

Over a four-hour period early Wednesday morning, 108 residents were evacuated (59 self-evacuated, 49 rescued, 15 were by boat, and 34 by vehicle), according to the San Benito County Sheriff's Office. Approximately 39 people were taken to Veteran’s Hall in downtown Hollister, where the American Red Cross provided shelter and food. No injuries were reported and Lovers Lane remained closed as of Wednesday afternoon.

In a press release, the Sheriff's Office said the county "is in the process of evaluating damage and will be working with the state should an emergency declaration be needed."

Offering help

The Community Action Board is assisting with displaced families' needs. More information is available by calling Christina M. Soto at 831-256-1852. Flood victims are in Our Hollister Flood Victim Families, they are specifically in need of pillows, blankets, sheets and towels, all of which can be dropped off at the warning shelter at 3235 Southside Rd. through the weekend.

The Hollister Firefighters Association will be collecting gift cards as donations, in an effort to help aid the displaced families of the Lovers Lane flood. "We are asking this great community to come together and help our fellow citizens," the association said on Facebook. Gift cards of all types can be dropped off at Hollister Fire station 1 on Fifth Street, Fire Station 2 on Union Road, nd at Fire Station 4 in San Juan Bautista. 

The Sheriff's Office reports that for evacuees with animals, small pets can be brought to the Animal Shelter at 1331 South St. in Hollister. Horses and small livestock can be brought to Bolado Park at 9000 Airline Hwy. in Tres Pinos — check in at the office. Bolado Park also has trailer hook-ups. Cattle can go to 101 Livestock in Aromas (4400 Hwy. 101) and displaced residents with pets or other animals can also call the Animal Shelter at 831-636-4320 with questions.

Spring Grove Elementary School, whose student body includes residents of the Lovers Lane area, is accepting donations at the school office, 500 Spring Grove Rd. It is accepting new or gently-used blankets, towels, new socks for adults or children, gift cards and monetary donations. The school is also having a "Five Buck Friday," during which donations of $5 or another amount are encouraged to benefit flood victims.

Sue Redmond of Brent Redmond Transportation posted on Facebook that her trucking yard at 1800 Lana Way (across San Felipe Road from the Hollister Municipal Airport) has room for approximately four to five recreational vehicles if displaced residents want to temporarily stay there."You'll need to be self-contained, but we do have showers that you are welcome to use" Redmond said. "We are happy to have you stay while your homes dry out." For more information, contact Redmond at 637-5342.

If BenitoLink readers know of other efforts to help locals impacted by the Pacheco Creek flood, please leave a comment below or email Content Director Adam Breen at [email protected]

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.