Residents at the Auburn Villa Mobile Home Park continued to clean up after a creek adjacent to the property flooded over a dozen homes.
The water level is at a trickle, but on Sunday morning at about 7 a.m. the park’s concrete and wooden retaining wall failed to contain a torrent of water that spilled into the park.
“The water rushed in through here and rushed around there. It looked like the San Juan rapids,” said resident Russell Kendrick who was awaken when water lapped at his bed.
Kendrick’s truck and his wife’s SUV could not be moved in time. The vehicles that were flooded out had water in their crankcases and probably suffered electrical damage. Piles of furniture and personal belongings were piled along the street and in dumpsters.
“I lost my TV and half my pictures. Oh, man,” lamented Bud Miller who was stuck inside his trailer for hours because he couldn’t open his door when several feet of water pressed against it.
Miller’s trailer is on the lowest part of the property next to an electric pump that failed when the electricity was cut off. It likely wouldn’t have saved his belongings because water moved through or around the parts of the retaining wall that are made of wood.
Stacy Davis woke up with several feet of water in her trailer.
“It went all the way up to the counter,” said Davis pointing inside her kitchen.
Mud and debris littered the floor. Luckily her sleeping quarters were higher on a second level. Some residents have moved their trailers out of the park while others say they hope to salvage their homes and stay. Many were spraying mud off their property and throwing away water damaged clothes and personal items.
Some are wary of what might happen in the future.
“This is the beginning of the winter season. It might happen again in a couple of weeks, it might happen tomorrow…I don’t have to happen to me twice, I’m out of here,” said Kendrick.
The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center, although only two residents took advantage of it overnight. The California Department of Housing and Community Service oversees many mobile home parks and sent inspectors to the park on Auburn Boulevard and Manzanita Avenue to assess its safety and advise residents about what they can do to prevent further damage.