Redwood City prepares for floods

January 25, 2008 12:11:55 AM PST
A Peninsula neighborhood braces itself for waterlogged homes, even though the city claims it's not likely to happen this time around.

Officials in the Peninsula are reassuring people there will not be a repeat of the flooding they experienced earlier this month.

Three weeks ago, most of Redwood City was under water, and with more rain on the way, the mayor is telling residents they should feel comfortable that there won't be a repeat.

With the latest potential soaker creeping into view, the people who live around Hoover Street in Redwood City are dealing with a bad flashback from just three weeks ago.

"We took all of the carpets out and put hardware and those carpets were wet, so we cleaned them and made them smell good because they smelled really bad," said 14-year-old Orlando Godinez.

Several inches of water filled Orlando's home on January 4th. The family still has belongings stacked up in the living room. They spent about $5,000 dollars to clean the house and putting new tiles; a job not covered by their insurance.

"I don't know what we are going to do if this happens again. For that week we had to go to different houses so I could go to school, and some other people took us to school," said Godinez.

The mayor of Redwood City said not to worry.

"I think that they should feel very comfortable out there clearing the storm drains, we've been out there with our street sweepers," said Redwood City mayor Rosanne Foust.

Mayor Rosanne Foust blamed the last flood on a perfect storm of heavy rain over a short period, high tides and cluttered storm drains.

One more problem: a pumping station next to the bay, which can't always handle heavy rain, is located in Harbor Village near East Bayshore, another community that has seen its share of floods.

They definitely need to do something, I mean it makes it very difficult and there is a lot of old people here, and they panic when stuff happens," said Redwood City resident Stacy Stoner.

Upgrading the pump could cost a few million dollars out of the city's capital improvement budget.

ABC7's John Alston: "Is this problem going to be fixed in months, years?"

"Well, I think we have to figure it out, we know what the problem is, we need an idea of what it will cost and we also have to work with the property owners for the pump station is. And if we can get everything together, my feeling is within a year, it could be fixed," said Foust.

The city is also trying to work with residents to clean storm gutters. One of the things talked about is alternate side parking rules to allow street cleaners to clean some of those storm drains.