Flooded Monterey town to receive different, smaller relief funding than Newsom indicated

Thousands have been evacuated.
Thousands have been evacuated. Photo credit Jennifer Hodges/KCBS Radio

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – While there's no timeline for when residents of Pajaro will be able to return home, some evacuation orders in the flood-ravaged North Monterey County have been lifted.

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More than 12,000 people are still under evacuation warnings or orders, but orders have been lifted for the community of San Ardo and Arroyo Seco.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the area earlier this week, he said $42 million was available for flood relief, but it’s actually just over $300,000.

"It was a case of conflating two different types of disaster relief," said Katy Castagna, the president of United Way Monterey County, a local social services organization.

According to Castagna at a recent press briefing, the larger chunk of funding that Newsom was referring to was allocated for COVID-19.

But funds will be sent out in $600 increments to farmworkers.

"To give you context, we are in the process of setting up our strategy to roll out those cards," she said. "But we've only got about $300,000 to work with here in Monterey County."

The $42 million was actually sent out statewide to a number of nonprofits.

"Just a portion of that large amount is being distributed through United Way here on the Central Coast," she said.

The community of Pajaro were forced to evacuate earlier this week after major rainfall caused the levee at the Pajaro River to break.

Residents have been relocated to local shelters while evacuations have been in place. It’s unclear when most will be able to return.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Jennifer Hodges/KCBS Radio