'That's their responsibility': East Bay neighborhood upset with county after homes flood in storm

J.R. Stone Image
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
East Bay neighborhood upset with county after street floods
Residents of Bay Point say flooding could have been avoided if the county had cleaned out debris from a nearby canal.

BAY POINT, Calif. (KGO) -- A neighborhood in the East Bay community of Bay Point, California was flooded during Sunday's storm, and community members say it could have been avoided if the county had cleaned out debris from a nearby canal.

Neighbors on Clearland Circle now fear that if it rains again they will have to deal with flooding again.

RELATED: Strongest storm in years brings torrential rain, flooding to Bay Area

"My neighbor called me, she was screaming for me to come outside. She told me, 'come outside you're not going to believe what was going on,'" says Doreen Monterroza, whose garage and property were flooded.

What was going on is this -- Water from a nearby canal flooded the street and at least three homes. Neighbors are outraged saying it was debris mixed with garbage that clogged the drain up.

"They don't check it, they don't clean it out. That's their responsibility, they should be cleaning that," says Neomi Roberts who has lived on the street for 47 years.

VIDEO: Santa Rosa residents describe evacuating as their homes were flooded

It's been a long 24 hours for a Santa Rosa neighborhood, where flooding caused the evacuation of hundreds of residents.

"It got stuck with clothes and shoes. It was a mess," says Esteffania Avila, whose family tried to unclog some of the drains.

But county officials tell us they did clear it last Tuesday, saying the drainage ditch was overwhelmed by the historic storm. They also tell us the area upstream from where is happened is on private property.

"Any debris that would have been collected on the trash rack would have been coming from private property which we don't have rights to maintain," says Chris Lau with the Maintenance Division of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department.

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Monterroza is hopeful this doesn't happen again but fears it could.

"Our community here is unincorporated, so we don't have really anyone," says Monterroza.

The county says they will work on talking with those private property owners.

"We have sent notices to private property owners reminding them over their responsibility to maintain that system, and what we can do is send another notice out," says Lao.

Neighbors say regardless of where they live or what the issue is, they deserve a system that doesn't fail during a strong rainstorm.

"That don't mean that we should not be taken care of, that don't mean that we don't pay taxes, we paying money too so they should be taking care of that stuff," says Roberts.