Evacuation ordered as levee breaks in Northern California

A levee breach on California's San Joaquin River prompted the evacuation of 500 people on Monday night. The levee broke after a week of heavy rain. Photo courtesy of California Office of Emergency Services/Twitter

Feb. 21 (UPI) — A levee broke in Northern California after severe rainstorms, leading authorities to order more than 500 people to leave their homes Monday night.

The breach was discovered in a levee near the town of Manteca in San Joaquin County, south of Stockton. It was repaired, and the state’s Office of Emergency Services described it as “stable,” but the evacuation orders remain in place.

Most of the people ordered to evacuate reside on farms and ranches.

The breach, on the east side of the San Joaquin River, was repaired after the evacuation orders were issued. Manteca resident Dino Warda said local farmers, with tractors and excavators, helped state employees shore up the levee. The break in the levee came south of Highway 120 and west of Manteca Road, two miles west of Airport Way and Perrin road, the Sacramento Bee reported.

“Work crews have made impressive progress on filling in the levee gap, and reducing the flow of water. Crews will stay on the scene to further stabilize the levee to completely seal the opening,” the OES statement said in part.

An evacuation center in Manteca was established on Monday for those who left their property, and a Sikh temple in Stockton also offered shelter. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch in the area, due to the levee break.


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