Emergency shelter closes, flood victims return home

Emergency shelter closes, flood victims return home

MECCA, Calif. - The mobile home park known as "Duroville" is still drying out more than a week after a powerful storm cell moved through Mecca.

Several inches of rain fell in a short amount of time. But enough time to do a lot of damage.

The storm knocked out power, caused sewage ponds to overflow, and disabled two water wells at Duroville.

Residents are now being told their tap water is not contaminated and is safe to use.

A temporary shelter set up at Desert Mirage High School to provide meals and a place to sleep closed down Wednesday morning.

"These kids are back in that environment, breathing unhealthy air and having to sleep in mattresses soaked in water. And the humidity is unbearable," said Lucy Moreno, a community health program coordinator.

Moreno said she's concerned about families being exposed to disease.

"One lady with a newborn baby, she was telling me rats are coming in through the roof and the roaches have increased in population," said Moreno.

Living conditions at Duroville are notoriously poor. The county wants to relocate residents to a new mobile home park in Oasis. But the state is holding up millions in redevelopment funds.

"The money's in a bond that was already approved and set aside for that purpose. We're taking the photos of Duroville last week and bringing it to Sacramento this week to talk to the people in finance again -- to ask if they can help us find a solution to this problem," said Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit.

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