SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- Crews remained on standby overnight Thursday keeping a watchful eye on the weakened Lost Slough levee.
Earlier in the day, part of the levee broke loose after an underground irrigation pipe burst, sending plenty of water into the already soggy region.
Most of the patch-work was done before nightfall, but crews were planning to return Friday morning to finish the job in an area that has already seen lots of standing water from the recent heavy rains and several boils, which are considered small breeches in the levee infrastructure.
But overnight Thursday, the main concern was the weakened levee. The Lost Slough region has only three pumps to get all the standing water back into the slough. Crews made sure those pumps were fully operating.
"Because sometimes the pump just shuts off, and this is a big pump," explained Antonio Vazquez, who maintained the pumps over night.
So far the region, which is west of Interstate 5, has not experienced a levee break. But residents and business persons hear now that could change quickly.
"Sure, the levee could break at any moment, and then we'll need to get the heck out of here," said Jonathan McCormack of McCormack's Ranch on Twin Cities Road.
"We can't even get down our road because of the amount of water coming our way, and slowly but surely, it's going to be here."
In a Facebook interview, Sacramento County's Emergency Operations Coordinator Mary Jo Flynn said evacuations are only voluntary at this point, but the situation could change quickly.
"This is a dynamic situation that could change at any minute, possibly calling for mandatory evacuations."
In the meantime, crews will continue to monitor both the levee and flood conditions around the clock.
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