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Lathrop Bar Scrambles to Save Equipment Amid Flooding

LATHROP -- An entire community is under water in Lathrop.

Residents were scrambling to save what they could after a couple of storms.

"The water levels evened out and actually went down a few inches, so that's positive note. But it's projected to go up a little bit. So we thought we'd come over here and get a few more things out. Just in case," Jonathan Jones said.

Jones was paddling out some of the ice, kegs, and equipment from the only bar in Haven Ares Community, an area not protected by the levee in Lathrop.

"Once we loaded it all up, we assumed it was a little overweight for both of us to get inside, so we decided just to tow it back by hand," Robert Wagner said.

Owner Rich Hogan says the San Joaquin River merged into the basement of his bar Saturday.

Now, it is just inches away from his front door. Even if the water level stays right where it is, he says he will not be able to reopen for a while.

"I would assume three to four months. Mainly, because of the snowpack up there. You have 1.3 million gallons of snow that has to melt, so I don't see the river receding at all," Hogan said.

Despite all of this, Hogan said he is happy his restaurant is on the other side of the levee. He would not change a thing.

"We have boats that come up during the summer. Every Saturday and Sunday, we are just packed with people with boats and all. And if this is what is going to happen every once in a while, so be it. Because having a river restaurant, I would never change," Hogan said.

His family is now helping him move his belongings to his seven other restaurants. In the meantime, Hogan said this storm gives him an excuse to try something new.

"It's going to be this deep for a bit. Hey, it gives me a chance to remodel," Hogan joked.