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Wilton area evacuation order issued amid bridge and levee repairs

Evacuation order issued for residents in the Wilton area
Evacuation order issued for residents in the Wilton area 01:31

WILTON — The Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services issued an evacuation order for residents in the Wilton area, and Sacramento County emergency officials say neighbors need to leave immediately.

The order comes as rising water is expected to spill over into roads across Wilton and cut off evacuation routes.

"Honestly, it's a little scary, I'm not gonna lie," said Kylie Wolfe before evacuating Sunday afternoon.

Wilton residents were leaving and wanted to avoid getting stuck.

"I just packed everything I could, and by the time we were leaving, the road was shut down; I barely made it out with my car," said Austin Ritcher of Wilton.

A Red Cross shelter is open in Elk Grove at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation for anyone seeking refuge from the storm.

However, one woman outside the shelter hoping to escape the storm said she was turned away because of her dog. They're now sleeping in her car.

"It's getting through the night. That's what scares me. It's being able to officially make it to tomorrow morning without any lighting strikes or my car being blown over," said Kimberly Gohm.

As the storm moved in, it was a race against time on Sunday for Reclamation District 800 (RD800) to build up a rock wall underneath the Wilton Bridge to protect the road from erosion due to rising water from the Cosumnes River that runs underneath.

"That water would just erode, and it would go right around the bridge embankment, and this whole road would collapse. That's what we were trying to avoid," Schneider told CBS13 Sunday.

Finished just in time, and with the help of Sacramento County crews, Wilton Bridge is well protected, and RD800 is closely watching vulnerable levees.

"I think they are safe. The levees are all safe right now; if they start overtopping, we will get on it and sandbag them," said Schneider.

He added the levee break on Bradley Ranch Road remains a priority, as a total fix is not yet possible. RD800 constructed a weir to help block water.

"We went in, though, and we armored the banks. Where there was any fresh dirt that was cut where the water could run, we put a big rock on it to armor it and fanned it out into the river. So when the water does come, it doesn't erode behind our weir that we have right now," said Schneider.

Total repairs at Bradley Ranch Road will not come soon, and they will not come cheap. It could cost close to $1 million.

"We built a weir to try and hold the water in the river at 10 to 11 feet. That's about the biggest effort we can make right now; it's the most expensive part of the job," said Schneider.

He adds RD800 identified a new breach Saturday night on the upper end of the district by Jackson Highway, seeing severe sloughing and erosion. The goal is to start making repairs Monday.

"Weather permitting, we will be up there with about 600 to 700 tons of rip rap that we are outing on it to secure it. Its danger was gonna be taking out the access road to the rancher up there and a couple of power poles that were gonna be in trouble," said Schneider.

In addition, as of Sunday, a levee break at Peach Road is no longer considered a break.

"We got it fixed; it's back in place. The road is prepared, so we can do levee patrols, a good thing," said Schneider.

As people make their way to safer grounds, the message from one Wilton neighbor to another is strong.

"If you see that evacuation warning, don't take it lightly. Make sure you are prepared, and when it's time to go, go. Don't second guess anything," said Wolfe.

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