Local Residents Haunted by 1997 Floods Brace for Weekend Storms

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EL DORADO -- The devastating floods of 1997 ripped apart homes and businesses. The damage was estimated at millions of dollars.

One El Dorado woman remembers the flood like it was yesterday. Susan Buford still has the tattered, discolored newspaper from 20 years ago that shows a picture of her husband standing in water near their garage.

Her porch overlooks the Cosumnes River. It's that same river water her husband stood in that rushed into her El Dorado home all those years ago. The floods of 1997 destroyed Buford's house.

"We lost everything in the 1997 flood, everything," Buford said.

While rebuilding she had the new home lifted several feet above where it originally sat in case of another flood. Her garage and apartment across from the house also flooded in '97, but that building wasn't raised.

Two decades later, Buford worries about reliving the disaster.

"I know the garage and this will be underwater, because it did in '97," Buford said.

The National Weather Service said the Cosumnes River is at high risk of overflowing with inches of rain expected to fall throughout the weekend. The 76-year-old isn't waiting for the worst of the storm to hit.

"I'm going to take my necessities and go to my girlfriend's house," she said.

Buford said laughter of all things got her through the '97 flood. This time around she said, "All I can do is protect me so I can see my grandkids."