Floods Threaten to Turn Coastal California Towns into an Island

Local officials warned that a part of the Monterey peninsula in Northern California could be cut off from the rest of the state by flooding on a river that’s been inundated with rainfall from a series of punishing winter storms. 

The tony seaside communities of Carmel and Pebble Beach are among the tourist towns that may become isolated for several days if the nearby Salinas River floods, Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto said during a press conference late Wednesday. Residents living in low-lying areas near the river were ordered to evacuate immediately, according to a Twitter post by the sheriff’s office. 

The waters are expected to rise to flood stage by midday Thursday, Nieto said. “Some of the roadways are going to be closed and you could be stuck on one side or the other,” she added. 

The warning comes amid a series of storms that have rolled off the Pacific Ocean since the end of December, flooding cities and towns, triggering mudslides and burying roads with mud and debris. At least 17 people have been killed in disaster-weary California.

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