San Diego flood

FLOOD VICTIMS CAN NOW APPLY FOR FEDERAL HELP AT FEMA DISASTER RECOVERY SITES IN SPRING VALLEY AND SAN DIEGO

East County News SErvice

March 2, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has two local disaster recovery centers that are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Residents who had damage from the floods that occurred January 21-23 can visit the centers or register online for federal disaster relief to help pay for repairs, temporary housing and property losses,  as well as business loans, now through April 19.

The federal aid comes after President Joe Biden issued a federal disaster declaration for our regionl.

The centers are located at the Spring Valley County Library (836 Kempton St, Spring Valley) and at the Mountain View Community Center (651  South Boundary St., San Diego).


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SBA OPENS BUSINESS RECOVERY CENTER TO HELP BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS IMPACTED BY SEVERE STORM AND FLOODING

February 23, 2024 (San Diego) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration will open an SBA Business Recovery Center in National City on Monday, Feb. 26, to provide a wide range of services to businesses countywide impacted by the severe storm and flooding that occurred Jan. 21 - 23.

No appointment is necessary. All services are provided free of charge. The Business Recovery Center will be located at :

Southwestern College, Higher Education Center National City

First Floor, Room 7100 - Center for Business Advancement

880 National City Blvd., National City, CA  91950

It will be open starting Monday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. and thereafter Mondays-Fridays from 8:30 a.m.. to 5 p.m.


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TODAY IS LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR TEMPORARY HOUSING THROUGH COUNTY AFTER FLOOD; FEDERAL HELP ALSO AVAILABLE

 

Source: County News Service

February 23, 2024 (San Diego) -- The new County program to provide lodging to families who had their homes damaged in the Jan. 22 flood is now providing safe and secure lodging for more than 400 families from across the County. The application process for the County’s Emergency Temporary Lodging Program ends at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23. Flood victims who previously applied and have not yet been placed in a room may still be offered temporary accommodations.

The Emergency Temporary Lodging Program is a 30-day program initiated on Feb. 10. The program provides support to households who were sheltered by community-based organizations immediately after the storm.The County contacted more than 1,400 households who indicated they had damage to their homes and needed assistance.  Most were identified for the program because they spoke to workers at one of two Local Assistance Centers or filled out a damage assessment survey.

Separately, this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a Major Disaster Declaration for San Diego County. Anyone impacted by the Jan.22 flooding is encouraged to register for FEMA assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362. A deadline has not yet been announced for the federal program.


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SPRING VALLEY RESIDENTS UNITE TO SUPPORT FLOODED NEIGHBORS: DONATION SITE OPENS FEB. 24 THROUGH APRIL 15

Source: Spring Valley Community Alliance

February 22, 2024 (Spring Valley, CA) -- Spring Valley residents applaud Tuesday's approval of FEMA aid for those affected by the January 22 rainstorm, but the community is already taking action to support recovery efforts. A coalition of area churches, community organizations, and residents led by the Spring Valley Community Alliance have partnered to open a site at Spring Valley Community Church to collect and distribute donations for those affected. 

A donation site located at 3310 Bancroft Drive, Spring Valley will open Saturday February 24 from 10am to Noon. The site's regular hours will be Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to Noon.

While the waters receded quickly from the thousand-year flood, more than 200 Spring Valley homes were left badly impacted. Cars, furniture, appliances, and other essential belongings were left severely damaged or destroyed.  

"Many Spring Valley residents were left with the clothes on their backs and the items they could grab as they attempted to escape the rising waters," said Chris Pierce, Vice President of the Spring Valley Community Alliance. "There are physical needs that our neighbors have beyond what the County Resource Center set up at the Spring Valley Library could provide."


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MIKE AGUIRRE FILES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY ON BEHALF OF FLOOD VICTIMS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Flooding in Encanto, via mayoral candidate Genevieve Jones-Wright

February 22, 2024 (San Diego) – Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre and civil rights leader Shane Harris with People’s Association of Justice Advocates (PAJA) held a press conference Feb. 12 to announce a lawsuit against the city of San Diego on behalf of homeowners who suffered “preventable” damages from the January 22 flooding.

Harris cited a 2018 audit of the city’s storm water system as well as an unsuccessful 2022 effort to pass a ballot measure to fund infrastructure as evidence that city officials knew of flood risks from its storm drains, but failed to resolve them. The report specifically mentioned Chollas Creek  issues that caused flooding across southeastern San Diego. 

“This was an act of man, not an act of God,” Harris said, adding that city officials could have prevented January’s flood damages had it prioritized needed upgrades after the audit more than four years earlier.

Over 1,000 residents in Southeast San Diego have been displaced and hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed, according to PAJA, including Southcrest, Mountain View, Shelltown and Encanto neighborhoods.


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BUYING A USED CAR? BEWARE OF FLOOD DAMAGED VEHICLES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Flooded cars, City of La Mesa, January 22, 2024

February 20, 2024 (San Diego) – Water damaged vehicles may be flooded the market after the severe January storms submerged many vehicles. Flooded vehicles are apt to have permanent damage to electrical systems including airbags, putting lives at risk. But some water damage can take months or even years to appear.

Most insurers will declare a flooded vehicle a total loss, which means it should be issued a salvage or flood title. It is then sent to auction, where it may be stripped for parts, or sold to unscrupulous buyers who may resell it.

 So how can you protect yourself from buying a flood-damaged vehicle? Here are some tips,compiled from Consumer Reports and NBC news.


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PRESIDENT BIDEN ISSUES DISASTER DECLARATION TO BRING FEDERAL AID FOR FLOOD VICTIMS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

February 20, 2024 (San Diego) President Joe Biden yesterday declared a major disaster in California, making federal funding available to help those who suffered flood damages from January 21-23 in San Diego County, including residents and businesses. 

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service. 

The President ordered federal assistance to supplement state tribal, and local recovery efforts from the severe storm.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

The federal disaster declaration comes three weeks after it was requested by both Governor Gavin Newsom and San Diego Congresswoman Sara Jacob.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.


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FAMILY THAT HELPED SAVE NEIGHBORS NEEDS HELP AFTER MAJOR FLOOD DAMAGE

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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HOW CAN WE HELP FLOOD VICTIMS?

By Kirsten  Andelman

Photo via CalFire: Firefighters fill sandbags. Sandbags are available at most fire stations countywide.

February 2, 2024 (Spring Valley) -- The mood was one of somber preparation, mixed with some fear – and a palpable lack of optimism.

Around the corner from the Local Assistance Center set up last week for flood survivors at the Spring Valley library branch, firefighters at the San Miguel Fire District station heaved shovels all day last Thursday.  They packed bags with sand, and then delivered them to the long line of cars idling at the corner of Gillespie and Orville Streets.

People searched for ways to prepare for more line, while others stood by to support the many families already impacted by the floods of January 22.

For the displaced people awaiting a fresh deluge of rain the following day, the question had remained the same: “Where can we go?”


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THOUSANDS SEEK HELP AT FLOOD ASSISTANCE CENTER IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Kirsten Andelman

Photo, left: flooded home of the Ford family along Chollas Creek

February 1, 2023 (Spring Valley)-- When 86-year old Bienvenida Ford felt the water on her feet January 22, all she could do was yell for her sleeping daughter, Debbie, who jumped up and called 911.  But by then, the waters rushing in from the swollen Chollas Creek were already up to the women’s calves.

Within 20 minutes, the water in their National Avenue living room was up to Bienvenida’s ribs.  In the nick of time, two rescue workers swam inside and dragged her by her armpits to higher ground. Meanwhile, Debbie Ford, age 50, was fending for herself, half paddling, half floating out the front door and towards higher ground.  Hundreds of yards away she could see their freezer – recently stuffed with homemade lumpia – laying on its side on a neighbor’s property.


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FLOOD VICTIMS SHOULD WATCH FOR MOLD

January 27, 2024 (San Diego) -- Flooding from Monday’s torrential storms was bad enough, but now residents cleaning up their damaged homes face the threat of mold.

The longer materials stay wet, the more likely mold will grow. It takes only two to three days for mold to form.


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CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE, FLOOD VICTIMS PLAN CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST CITY OF SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 25, 2024  (San Diego) – Shane Harris, president of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, held a press conference in the Mountain View community Tuesday to announce plans to file a class action lawsuit against the City of San Diego for “long-standing negligence” in failing to clear flood channels before severe storms.  He was joined by residents whose homes flooded along the 100-year flood plain including Encanto, Southcrest and Mountain View. 

Residents interested in participating in the class action suit can visit www.pajmovement.org/sandiegoflood.


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HERO RISKS LIFE TO SAVE NEIGHBORS AND HOMES AMID RISING FLOODWATERS IN CITY HEIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special report by Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego and Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 6, 2016 (San Diego)--With floodwaters rising to the ceiling in several apartments and homes built below-grade on 48th Street in City Heights, residents scrambled frantically to evacuate their children, elderly family members and pets last night.  A dog perished—but it could have been a far worse tragedy, if not for the astonishing courage of Gabriel Duarte.

Duarte, a construction worker, surely knew the hazards of jumping into floodwaters that had submerged lamps and live electrical wiring – waters choked with debris, dirt, and potentially disease.  Yet he risked his life to save others, entering several feet of water to unclog two submerged storm drains. Many of his neighbors credit him, for preventing further damage. He dove into the murky waters to clear two of the three storm drains that had backed up.


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