Storm emergency declared in Santa Cruz

A local emergency was declared Tuesday in Santa Cruz County, where roads were damaged by stormy conditions earlier this month.

The county’s Board of Supervisors in an unanimous vote approved declaring the local emergency due to weather that resulted in floods, downed trees and power lines and significant damage to almost two dozen roads.

The announcement can lead to a state disaster declaration, which would help provide emergency funds for repairs, county officials said.

The destruction is estimated at more than $11 million, according to county officials.

The street with the highest price tag for repairs is Hazel Dell Road, which is in need of roughly $1.6 million to replace a crib wall along a creek bank, according to county officials.

Board chairman Bruce McPherson said in a statement:

“Storms are nothing new in Santa Cruz County, but what is new is the lack of transportation funding available to counties. … Without action by lawmakers in Sacramento, we’re going to continue to see damage to local roads that is beyond our capacity to repair, and the cycle is going to repeat itself as conditions deteriorate further.”

Public Works Director John Presleigh said in a statement:

“At some point, it’s just impossible to do anything anymore when it comes to maintaining our 850-mile network of roads.”