Fremont residents clean up after neighborhood floods

February 5, 2012 5:41:02 PM PST
The Department of Water Resources said on Sunday afternoon a crew unintentionally released water from an eight-foot-wide water main that flooded an entire block of the Warm Springs community, just west of interstate 680. Mud and water flooded 15 residential yards and four homes were evacuated on Saturday morning.

Streams of water flowed through the neighborhood, pushing dirt and other muck along the way. One resident says his wife first noticed the problem.

"My wife heard a loud thump or a pop and thought it was a little unusual because it was louder that the usual cats jumping on the roof," said John Reak from Fremont.

Instead, it was thousands of gallons of water rushing into his yard. Crews finally stopped the water after about two hours.

"It's not a huge gusher, nothing that you would see going up into the sky, but it created enough flowing down the hill that it started to bring some of the sediment from the hill," said Elizabeth Scott from the California Department of Water Resources.

But even after the water was shut off on the problem line, residents still had to deal with muddy mess and headaches of their flooded neighborhood.

"We were evacuated without a clear plan of what to do, without any numbers, who to call, who's responsible for turning on our electricity, who's responsible for letting us go back inside or not," said Rohit Verma from Fremont.

Verma's family is one of four evacuated from their homes. According to the Fremont Fire Department, water seeped into those homes. They have since been allowed to return. The State Department of Water Resources says most of the damage was restricted to yards and garages. Crews with suction trucks continued their cleanup.

Right now the biggest problem for homeowners is all the water that's trapped in their basements. One crew siphoned out more than 1,000 gallons of water from under one home.

The water department says it'll continue working with the affected homeowners.


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