On Monday afternoon, Joe Schirmer canceled deliveries to restaurants and farmers markets from his popular farm, Dirty Girl Produce, bracing for the latest atmospheric river to hit Northern California. He nervously monitored a dry creek on one of his four Watsonville properties. During intense storms earlier this year, it had already filled with water and jumped over the bank.
On Tuesday, it was exactly as Schirmer feared. Heavy rain and wind hit the region. The stream turned into a rushing river. It jumped into the bed in a new location, ate into rows of leeks and stuck an 8-foot gap in what is usually a path for the farm’s tractors. The damage will likely mean the loss of more than half an acre of land that can no longer be farmed, Schirmer said.