Thousands of Californians were evacuated from their homes in Northern California after the Pajaro River’s levee was breached due to flooding caused by an atmospheric river that hit the state over the weekend.

Meanwhile, more flood watches have been issued as another winter storm is expected as soon as Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

What happened to the Pajaro River levee?

The overflowing Pajaro River breached the river’s levee late Friday night, leading to flooding in the town of Pajaro and mass evacuations of its 1,700 residents.

Pajaro is now underwater, the Los Angeles Times reported.

As of late Sunday, the breach in the levee had “grown to approximately 300 feet in width,” Monterey County officials said, per CBS News.

Did officials know the Pajaro River levee would fail?

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According to records and interviews obtained by the LA Times, officials knew that the levee that was breached, flooding a town mostly comprised of migrant farmworkers, could fail.

Officials knew for several decades that the levee “was vulnerable but never prioritized repairs in part because they believed it did not make financial sense to protect the low-income area,” according to the Times.

What areas of California are under flood watch?

About 15 million people are under flood watches in California and Nevada as of late Sunday, CNN reported.

As more rainfall is expected, the National Weather Service put the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast under flood watch Monday through Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

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