More rain means more floods in San Pablo

February 22, 2009 7:50:52 PM PST
Continuous rainfall means more trouble for a flood-prone neighborhood in San Pablo.

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Presidents on Lettia Drive are all too familiar with flooding. They hoped this saga might be coming to an end after County Public Works crews were out Saturday trying to clear one of the clogged storm drains.

Sunday's rains brought more flooding to the San Pablo neighborhood. That means yet again, residents there are fearful they may return to pumping raw sewage and water out of their homes.

They say this is a continual problem that has been going on for years. They blame a clogged storm drain that runs under the nearby Burlington Northern railroad tracks.

Fingerpointing over who is to blame continues.

The county was on scene Saturday after the railroad pointed out a 28-year old contract showing the county is responsible for maintaining the drain. The county is blaming a local developer, but the developers say this is the county's job.

Meanwhile the neighbors are fed up.

"I think that whoever's in charge, whoever's supposed to take care of these drains, they're to blame. Because, this one here, when they don't clean it, it backs up really bad," said San Pablo resident Javier Alvarez.

"We don't care who it is. But we just want to see it resolved. You know what I mean? Because, they're blaming, pointing fingers, and we're not going to be living like this. Every time it rains it is a worry for our family. I mean we'll not be able to get into our houses if the water's coming into the house again," said San Pablo resident Guillermo Estrada.

"If we have to sue the railroad company and the private developer, and do the work ourselves, we'll have to do that. But, we want private developers to do their share. We don't want to subsidize them, but we'll do the work and if we have to sue them we will," said Contract Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

Crews were out Sunday afternoon and expected to be pumping water from the area all night. They said residents were not yet at risk of water coming into their homes and that they were working hard to keep water levels at bay.

Crews were pumping 400 gallons every minute with the single pump they had on hand. They were expecting a second pump to arrive Sunday afternoon.

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