East Valley communities still face flood problems

East Valley Cleanup


     Two days after flood waters inundated the Coachella community of Tierra Del Sol, Alejandra Torres was finally able to leave her home and get her son to school. several pools of water still sit throughout the neighborhood, some still multiple feet deep.

     Torres tells us, "Barely today we could get one car out because we had them in the garage, actually the water went into the garage."

     Many suffered some form of property damage and are now looking to local governments for assistance or some form of compensation for what they believe is the city's responsibility.

Dhamian Magana showed up to Coachella city hall Tuesday to see if he is eligible for compensation. He says, "I'm here to make a claim because I don't think it's fair that I should have to pay for my car that got ruined from the interior and it doesn't even work when somebody should have put some signs up or something to let me know not to go there."

Several motorists attempting to cross flooded roadways lost engine function, but others suffered vehicle damage right outside their homes.

"We can't move the truck, the engine is messed up so we called the towing truck but they can't do anything about it," Torres says. Her truck was flooded sitting in the road in front of her home.

As far as compensation, those who drove their cars into flood waters, may be out of luck.

Coachella City Manager David Garcia explains, "We require that storm water systems be in place. We can't be responsible for people that flood their cars or run into things that are submerged. I don't know what exactly the cases are but we'll look at every claim that's submitted and access it in terms of liability."

The city of Coachella continues to pump water out of the most flooded communities and is looking into ways to divert flooding in the future.

Garcia tells us, "The water coming in exceeded the capacity of the basins so we're trying to see whether there's a way that the water can be drained off into areas that don't result in residential damage to the homes."

Riverside County and valley cities will continue to clean up roads and access long term damage the water may have caused. That standing water sitting on roadways is causing some streets to deteriorate, already evident from the numerous recent sinkholes across the valley.

The county expects storm costs to top $45,000, which individual cities may surpass but will have to bare themselves.

County Supervisor John Benoit says, "An event like this, the size of this one, we're all pretty much required to take care of our own. I think the counties roads in more remote areas may have seen more mud and flooding then in the cities."

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