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January 28, 2023

Monterey County: What to Know About Returning to Evacuated Areas

Tips for cleaning flooded structures and details about receiving red or yellow tags

MONTEREY COUNTY — Evacuation orders and warnings in most Monterey County communities have been lifted. Those permitted to return to evacuated areas are encouraged to proceed carefully.

If a yellow or red placard was placed on a structure on your parcel, please get in touch with the Housing and Community Development Department of Monterey County for assistance at 831-755-5025.

  • If your home was red tagged, your home is damaged and not safe to enter. 
  • If your home was yellow tagged, people can go inside the unit, but it is unsafe to live in because of ongoing conditions like structural issues or lack of utilities.  
  • Damaged homes and structures are not good places for small children or pets.  

If your home or business was affected by the flood and has not received a red tag, you are able to work on cleaning and repairing any damage from flooding. 

  • If work is needed on your home or place of business, use appropriate safety gear such as boots, rubber gloves, face masks, and goggles as the circumstances warrant.  
  • Document every loss and expense. Take photos, keep receipts, and contact your insurance agent. 
  • Dry out if possible. Floodwater damages materials, leaving mud, silt, and contaminants that can promote mold growth. Throw away food and household items contaminated by flood water or wash and disinfect all household items that have come into contact with floodwater that can be saved. 

Do’s and Don’ts for Post-Flood Cleanup 

  • Don’t push mud and debris back into the river.  
  • Do spread mud and dirt over your property and cover it to prevent erosion. If you don’t have room on your property to pile or distribute mud/dirt, contact a contractor for removal. 
  • Don’t start construction or land movement (grading) beyond mud and silt removal. You may remove the mud that came in from the floods but do not change the underlying landforms or build new walls and structures without first contacting Housing and Community Development.

For more information about the winter storms, road closures, evacuation areas and more, visit tinyurl.com/2023winterstorm. If you recently experienced flooding in your home or business, visit mtyhd.org/floodrecovery for guides, documents and other resources. 2-1-1 may be a good resource for more information and for renters affected by yellow and red tags.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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