January storms have damaged many areas of Santa Cruz County. West Cliff Drive near Woodrow Avenue remained closed Jan. 8. (Stephen Baxter — Santa Cruz Local)

Last updated: Feb. 3, 2023

Storms in January have prompted evacuations, floods, slides, road closures and damage. Santa Cruz Local’s Winter Storm Resources page aims to provide emergency information and answers to common questions.

Santa Cruz County leaders have an online meeting planned to discuss county roads and county rebuilding efforts. 

  • County rebuilding meeting: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 on Zoom or by phone at 1-669-444-9171, Webinar ID 854 1767 7176

Click each question below for answers.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

There are two FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers where residents can apply for FEMA assistance. The centers will be open through Friday, Feb. 10.

Felton: FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, Felton Branch Library, 6121 Gushee St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.

Watsonville: FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, Ramsay Park, 1301 Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.

  • FEMA can provide money for temporary housing, home repair, moving and storage, repair or replacement of vehicles and other property, medical care, dental care, child care, funerals, and other miscellaneous items approved by the state. FEMA does not provide money for losses covered by insurance.
  • The deadline to apply for FEMA individual assistance is March 16.
  • FEMA’s programs in Santa Cruz County appear on its California Severe Winter Storms, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides page.
  • Residents can apply for assitance at DisasterAssistance.gov, on the FEMA mobile app or by calling the bilingual FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) before 8 p.m. daily.
  • Residents who plan to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster money are advised to: 
    • Before cleanup, document any damages. 
    • Track invoices related to cleanup.
    • Ask if it’s appropriate to wait before performing repairs.

U.S. Small Business Administration loans

The Small Business Administration has a Business Recovery Center at Capitola City Hall.

Capitola City Hall Community Room, first floor, 420 Capitola Ave., Capitola
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Public parking is behind city hall. Representatives can answer questions and help complete applications.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Some interest rates are 2.313% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.
  • Applicants first must contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency online. Applicants can also receive assistance at the local FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers at Felton Branch Library, 6121 Gushee St. in Felton and at Ramsay Park, 1301 Main St. in Watsonville. The centers are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Feb. 10.
  • Other information is available by calling the Small Business Administration customer service center at 800-659-2955 or emailing [email protected].
  • More information is on the Small Business Administration website and the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Assistance page.

Other disaster recovery resources

Other financial help for residents

  • Pacific Gas & Electric Co. offers Storm Inconvenience Payments of $25 to $100 for residents who had power outages of more than 48 hours during severe weather, with several restrictions. Learn more about eligibility and file a claim online.

Other local money is available for residents impacted by the storms. Call 211 or contact a local resource center below. Financial support is prioritized for people who have lost income or their home during the storms. Residents are encouraged to complete the County of Santa Cruz’s Winter Storm Damage Assessment and Community Bridges’ Winter Storm Damage Assessment to get connected to financial help and other resources.

Felton: Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9

831-335-6600

Monday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 a.m. to noon, by appointment 1-5 p.m.

Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite Y

831-724-2997

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-4:30 p.m.

Watsonville: Catholic Charities, 656 Main St.

831-316-9122 or email [email protected]

Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Ave.

831-476-7284

Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources, 711 East Cliff Drive.

831-423-5741

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Davenport: Davenport Resource Service Center, 150 Church St., Davenport.

831-425-8115

Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Storm Inconvenience Payments

  • Pacific Gas & Electric Co. offers Storm Inconvenience Payments of $25 to $100 for residents who had power outages of more than 48 hours during severe weather, with several restrictions. Learn more about eligibility and file a claim online.

Local money

Community Action Board has a hotline for residents who need connections to resources, including rent assistance. Call 831-440-3556. Languages available: English, Spanish, Mixteco and Triqui. 

Community Action Board’s rent assistance program can be reached at 831-457-1741.

Local money is available for residents impacted by the storms. Call 211 or contact a local resource center below. Financial support is prioritized for people who have lost income or their home during the storms. Residents are encouraged to complete the County of Santa Cruz’s Winter Storm Damage Assessment and Community Bridges’ Winter Storm Damage Assessment to get connected to financial help and other resources.

Felton: Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9

831-335-6600

Monday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 a.m. to noon, by appointment 1-5 p.m.

Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite Y

831-724-2997

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-4:30 p.m.

Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Ave.

831-476-7284

Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources, 711 East Cliff Drive.

831-423-5741

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

There are two FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers where business leaders can apply for FEMA assistance. The centers will remain open through Friday, Feb. 10.

U.S. Small Business Administration loans

The Small Business Administration has a Business Recovery Center at Capitola City Hall.

Capitola City Hall Community Room, first floor, 420 Capitola Ave., Capitola
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Public parking is behind city hall. Represenatives can answer questions and help complete applications.

Santa Cruz County business and nonprofit organization leaders can borrow up to $2 million “to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets,” said U.S. Small Business Administration representative Mark Randle, in a Jan. 15 statement.

  • Business and homeowner loans also are available to prevent or minimize future disaster damage.
  • Leaders of small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, some other agricultural busiensses and most private nonprofit organizations can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans “to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster,” Randle wrote. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of whether property was damaged. Some loans are available with 0% interest and no payments for 12 months. Other interest rates can be 3.305% for businesses and 2.375% for private nonprofit organizations, Randle wrote. The Small Business Administration determines loan amounts and terms based on the applicant’s financial condition.
  • Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Some interest rates are 2.313% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.

How to apply for Small Business Administration loans

Cleanup resources

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, county leaders placed dumpsters at 11 locations to collect storm-damaged household items such as furniture, carpet, drywall and clothing. More information.

  1. Soquel Village/Wharf Road Area: Heart of Soquel Park parking lot, 4740 Soquel Drive.
  2. Rio Del Mar Flats Esplanade: In the picnic and parking area near Venus restaurant.
  3. Davenport: Davenport Resource Center parking lot, 50 Church St.
  4. College Lake Area: College Road and Holohan Road off Laken Drive.
  5. East Lake Area: East Lake Avenue and Munks Court.
  6. East Lake Area: East Lake Avenue near Bridge Street.
  7. Felton Grove: 182 Sylvan Way.
  8. Felton Grove: River River Road and Circle Drive.
  9. Paradise Park: 211 Keystone Way parking lot.
  10. Paradise Park: 636 St. Augustine Ave. by the tennis parking lot.
  11. Ben Lomond: 9525 Mill St., in the parking area outside Ben Lomond County
    Park.

Volunteer requests

Residents who need flood response volunteers can complete an interest form with the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center.

Volunteers are available for:

  • Sandbags and flood preparations.
  • Flood cleanup.
  • Evacuation shelter support.
  • Spanish interpretation.
  • Mental health counseling.
  • Animal care.

Residents can also email [email protected] or [email protected] to request volunteer help.

Through Jan. 27, the California Storms and Flooding Home Cleanup Hotline connects residents with local cleanup volunteers. Call 844-965-1386. Volunteers are available to:

  • Cut fallen trees
  • Remove drywall, flooring and appliances.
  • Tarp roofs.
  • Address mold.

Other cleanup help

Community Action Board’s Day Worker Center also has day workers available for hire. Workers can help with cleanup. Call 831-475-9675 or visit the Day Worker Center website.

Community Bridges offers week-long loans of clean-up equipment such as dehumidifiers, vacuums and air blowers. To learn more about recovery resources for residents, call 211 or contact a local resource center below. 

Felton: Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9

831-335-6600

Monday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 a.m. to noon, by appointment 1-5 p.m.

Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite Y

831-724-2997

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-4:30 p.m.

Watsonville: Catholic Charities, 656 Main St.

831-316-9122 or email [email protected]

Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Ave.

831-476-7284

Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources, 711 East Cliff Drive.

831-423-5741

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m.

Davenport: Davenport Resource Service Center, 150 Church St., Davenport.

831-425-8115

Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Other disaster recovery resources are listed on the Santa Cruz County December and January Atmospheric Rivers page.

Water quality testing is recommended for residents with well water systems that were compromised by flooding.

Residents in flooded areas should discontinue use of septic wastewater treatment systems until the system dries, local health officials said. Avoid pumping unless the tank is concrete. A system inspection is recommended.

To report a mudslide or landslide on residential property, email [email protected].

Residents with homes or property with at least $10,000 of damage in the January storms may be eligible for reductions to their property tax bill. Damage to personal belongings such as furniture are not eligible since they are not assessed for property taxes.

To apply for “calamity property tax relief,” submit an application to the County of Santa Cruz assessor.

Official road closure information

Unofficial road closure information

Power outage information

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County’s Disaster Fund raises money for local nonprofit groups that are working with flood victims and evacuees. Groups include Community Action Board and Community Bridges.

Community Foundation leaders announced Jan. 9 that gifts to the Disaster Fund will be matched up to $75,000.

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County seeks volunteers for clean-up and phone staffing. Sign up online or call 831-427-5070.

The City of Capitola also seeks volunteers. Contact Capitola Recreation Division Leader Nikki Bryant LeBlond at 831-475-5935 or [email protected] to register.

View the County of Santa Cruz’s map of evacuation orders and evacuation warnings.

For questions about evacuation orders and warnings, call the Santa Cruz County Rainstorm Call Center: 831-454-2285.

Visit Santa Cruz County has shared a list of local hotels with special rates for evacuees.

The County of Santa Cruz’s sheters and evacuation point closed Jan. 18. For questions about shelter, call the Santa Cruz County Rainstorm Call Center: 831-454-2285.

Food

  • Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County has food distribution sites. Call the Second Harvest Food Bank hotline at 831-662-0991 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday to confirm the schedule and location of food distribution sites. The schedule and locations are subject to weather conditions.
  • World Central Kitchen can provide hot food. To partner with World Central Kitchen to provide meal service for groups in need, email [email protected].
  • CalFresh offers food benefits for residents affected by the disaster. Residents who receive CalFresh benefits can file a claim for lost food due to power outages, flooding or other storm-related reasons. Residents can contact a CalFresh eligibility worker

Money and other resources

Community Bridges Family Resource Centers provide resource referral, financial assistance and public benefit enrollment. Call or visit any of these resource centers:

Felton: Mountain Community Resources, 6134 Highway 9

831-335-6600

  • 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday
  • 9 a.m. to noon, by appointment 1-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources, 521 Main St., Suite Y

831-724-2997

  • 9 a.m. to noon, 1-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources, 1740 17th Ave.

831-476-7284

  • 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m. Monday to Thursday

Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources, 711 East Cliff Drive.

831-423-5741

  • 9 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Supplies: medications, pet medications, cellphone chargers, flashlight, first aid kit, eyeglasses, battery-operated or crank radio, tools, clothing, sanitary supplies, contact information, a print map for alternate routes, laptops, other devices.
  • Documents: passports, IDs, insurance policies, pictures, irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food, three gallons of water per person, pet food and water for pet
  • Cash, credit and ATM cards
  • Medical equipment
  • More items

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter encourages evacuees to stay with their pets at evacuation shelters. More information.

For help with equine and other large animal evacuations, call the Santa Cruz County Rainstorm Call Center: 831-454-2285.

Business leaders who need flood response volunteers can complete an interest form with the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center.

Volunteers are available for:

  • Sandbags and flood preparations.
  • Flood cleanup.
  • Evacuation shelter support.
  • Spanish interpretation.
  • Mental health counseling.
  • Animal care.

Business leaders also can email [email protected] or [email protected] to request volunteer help.

Community Action Board’s Day Worker Center also has day workers available for cleanup. Call 831-475-9675 or visit the Day Worker Center website.

Community Bridges Winter Storm Resources

Community Bridges Recursos de Recuperación de Inundaciones

Community Bridges Cleanup Assistance Disaster Assessment Form Residents can fill out the form to connect with cleanup volunteers and local social services.

Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery and Resilience: Winter storm resource page.

Santa Cruz County Rainstorm Call Center: Call 831-454-2285 for questions about evacuations orders, roads and shelters.

Sign up for Nixle alerts: Sign up for text, email or voice mail alerts from local law enforcement agencies. These alerts include evacuation orders and warnings, and the end of evacuation orders.

Santa Cruz Regional 911 text and email updatesSign up for CodeRed.

City of Watsonville: Flood resources and information page.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District: Storm resources page.

City of Capitola: Storm updates page.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: The Post-disaster Assistance Guide for California’s 2023 severe winter storms has summaries of the types of available federal assistance.

American Red Cross: Brochure and checklist on disaster recovery. Tips include: turn off propane, take photos to document damage, inspect fuses and circuit breakers.

  • American Red Cross also offers a 24-hour disaster distress helpline. Residents can call the helpline to get connections to mental health counseling, even months after the disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TALKWITHUS” to 66746.

Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency: Information in English and Spanish about how to prevent injury and infection during flood cleanup. Standing water can contain dangerous bacteria. Residents are advised to wear protective gloves, boots, goggles and pants during cleanup.

Social media: Authorities announce evacuation orders, breaking news and other information at these social media accounts:

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