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Permits needed to access secured evacuation areas
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Permits to access restricted areas falling under the mandatory flood evacuation in south Manteca are being made available all day today at the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Station on South Union Road at Nile Avenue.
While the mandatory evacuation ordered by authorities Monday night has been lifted, there is still the potential of a similar incident in the coming days taking place in light of continuing threatening flood situations involving levee breaks along the San Joaquin River in south Manteca, and the threat of another storm approaching.
The permits, or passes, obtained today will be effective until March 15.
Residents in the affected areas need to obtain a Restricted Area Permit should they need to go back to their homes to retrieve items they may have forgotten to take with them during an evacuation such as prescribed medicine or any other important reason. They will need to present the official permit to San Joaquin County law enforcement officials posted at the entrances to the secured areas.
Only the individual listed on the permit will be allowed to have access to the area evacuated. Information asked in the form includes a description of the individual’s vehicle, the car’s license plate, and the car owner’s driver’s license.
Several residents have already obtained the permits on Monday, according to fire district officials.
A map available at the fire station shows the extent of the evacuation area in South Manteca and the location of the current three road closures. These are at the entrance to Airport Court on South Airport Way, and the entrances to Perrin Road and McMullin roads. All three roads dead-end at the San Joaquin River and are near the area where the levee breach occurred at Hays Road during Monday’s early hours. The broken levee was immediately patched up, thanks to the efforts of farmers in the area who deployed their heavy farm equipment in response to the emergency situation.
The secured area on the map shows that the perimeter of the mandatory evacuation area on the east side has been moved from the South Union Corridor to South Airport Way. The area is bordered by the San Joaquin River to the west, Woodward Avenue to the north, and Airport Court to the south.
Information on the back of the access permit application explains that part of the reason for establishing a secured perimeter is to protect the area from looting, vandalism and other crimes. There have been reports of some residents returning to their homes after Monday’s mandatory evacuation only to find their windows smashed and broken by thieves who stole many of their valuables.
Even before the mandatory evacuation, residents in the affected and facilities like the Manteca Sportsmen on South Airport Way have already taken precautions and actions to protect their properties.
A number of residents who were ordered to leave their homes Monday due to the threat of flooding caused by the breached levee at Hays Road decided to remain in their homes.