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February 5, 2023

Another mudslide hits Green Hills Road

Scotts Valley Declares Local Emergency

Scotts Valley issued an emergency order this weekend after another mudslide closed Green Hills Road and storms shut down Highway 17 and took out Glenwood Drive.

This announcement followed the County of Santa Cruz proclaiming an emergency Jan. 3.

“Overall, Scotts Valley fared better than so many of our neighbors,” said City Manager Mali LaGoe. “Our public works crews did a heroic job keeping our storm drains clear, cleaning up down trees and addressing other impacts.”

While the initial landslide at Green Hills Road was cleaned up relatively rapidly, the one triggered Saturday was much more severe.

Acting in her role as the director of civil defense and disaster for the City, LaGoe issued the emergency declaration on Saturday.

Scotts Valley scheduled a special City Council meeting for Wednesday to extend the local emergency.

Hours before it was set to begin, Green Hills Road remained closed.

“We are trying to get one lane of Green Hills Road open by later today or tomorrow,” LaGoe said. “Unfortunately, people have been stealing our barriers and driving through the mud.”

According to the city manager, the plan is to operate the rural route with a single lane and stop signs on each end of the slide area—until full access can be restored over the coming months.

She noted while several other major landslides occurred in the Scotts Valley, none were technically within City boundaries.

City Attorney Kirsten Powell noted the community received more than 19 inches of rain over the course of recent weeks.

Recent storms have damaged parts of Green Hills Road, which remained closed due to mudslides. (Courtesy of City of Scotts Valley)
Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]


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