Beba Zarate


By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2024 (San Diego) – More than 1,200 San Diegans remain displaced from homes damaged in the Jan. 22 flood, including Beba Zarate, a teacher, and her two sons. The Zarate family helped get neighbors to safety amid rising floodwaters when emergency agencies were overwhelmed. But they had no flood insurance at the time, and lost nearly everything. They have put up a GoFundMe page, but so far only a few hundred dollars has been raised.

“We are hardly getting any help from the county or from the city,” say Zarate, whose home on Osborn Street in San Diego’s Shelltown neighborhood had water four feet deep rush in when a nearby creek flooded. “The only help was cleaning stuff, cleaning the street.  They removed all the trash and furniture.”

Nonprofits provided basic essentials such as clothes, shoes and cleaning supplies. But so far, neither FEMA nor state or local governments have stepped up with the major financial resources needed to help the family rebuild their home and lives.

Their one-story home needs major repairs and nearly all of the family’s belongings need to be replaced, including Zarate’s computer and teaching materials, kitchen appliances, furnishings and more. They also lost items of sentimental value, including family photos damaged by floodwaters that reached four feet deep.

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