Downed tree

Firefighters cut a downed tree on Skyline Drive in Monterey on Wednesday night, Jan. 4.

The severe storm warning for Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 4-5, is yet to bring the most significant wind and rain predicted, but has already prompted several closures.

As of 3pm on Jan. 4, the following Monterey County roads remain closed, due to flooding, risk of flooding, or mud on the roads:

  • Davis Road between Hitchcock and Reservation roads
  • River Road between Foothill Road and Camphora Road
  • Alisal Road near Hartnell Road 
  • Old Stage Road between Zabala Road and Chualar Road
  • Elm Avenue at the Salinas River crossing (Greenfield)
  • Murphy Road at the Pajaro River crossing (Watsonville)
  • Echo Valley Road between 508 Echo Valley Road and Tustin Road
  • Coast Road in Big Sur
  • Corey Road at San Juan Road
  • Lewis Road Between Salinas Road and Lewis Court
  • Tassajara Road, beginning at Los Padres National Forest boundary

As of 5pm Wednesday, state Highway 1 is also closed through much of Big Sur, from south of Deetjen's to Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County. There is no estimated time for reopening.

Caltrans Director Tony Taveres asked people to reduce non-essential travel: “If you don’t have to be out in the roadways during the peaks of these storms, we ask you to please stay home,” he said in a statement. Tavares added the safety is main priority. 

To check the latest Monterey County road closures, click here; for Caltrans updates on state road closures, click here or call 800-427-7623. 

The storm warning has prompted both the state of California and the city of Salinas to issue emergency declarations. It has also affected regular activities in different places including cities, school districts and animal shelters. 

The city of Soledad canceled a City Council meeting scheduled to begin at 6:30pm on Jan. 4.

Several school districts have closed partially or completely in the upcoming days. Carmel Unified closed its offices and extracurricular activities. Monterey Peninsula Unified reduced hours of operation for non-essential workers (many went home by 3:30 pm); the district is expecting to open Thursday, Jan. 5, but that could change if weather worsens. Staff for Salinas City Elementary will work from home on Jan. 5. Many school districts in Monterey County are on winter break. 

Hitchcock Road Animal Services, the joint county/city shelter in Salinas, shared the shelter is full. Officials are asking dogs owners to come and reclaim their dogs asap—usual fees will be waived—and if members of the public encounter stray dogs during the storm, they are asked to safely confine them if possible, rather than bringing them to the shelter, until Friday, Jan. 6.

People can report found pets at this link, or text 831FOUND to (833) 664-0513. To report a missing pet, text 831LOST to (833) 664-0513.

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