Residents Search for Longterm Solution to Antelope Valley's Muddy Floods

Some residents blame county for poor drainage

By Janet Kwak and Bill French
|  Monday, Sep 10, 2012  |  Updated 7:36 PM PDT
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Rex Vick's home was flooded with mud when a violent storm ripped through the Antelope Valley Sunday. Residents in the area say unmaintained storm drains are part of the problem. Janet Kwak reports from Pearblossom for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012.

Janet Kwak

Rex Vick's home was flooded with mud when a violent storm ripped through the Antelope Valley Sunday. Residents in the area say unmaintained storm drains are part of the problem. Janet Kwak reports from Pearblossom for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012.

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When the water rose in Rex Vick's Pearblossom home, his family was flooded with fear, and mud.

"This is all the mud, you can see there where it ran up over the exercise machine," Vick said, surveying the damage. "You can see the water line against the wall here."

A blue tape on the wall marked how high the water reached inside Vick's home when the storm rolled in Sunday night.

"The water was just coming out from the walls," he said.

Furniture, floors, and family heirlooms were all covered in mud several inches deep.

"We are trying to keep control of the moisture and maybe slow down the possible mold," said Vick.

Neighbors in Pearblossom say the storm was bad, but the flood and mud damage was worse than it should have been. Storm drains that routinely clog with mud because of development also play a role in their plight, they say.

"Part of the problem is grading up hill," said resident John Isgrigg. "There's dirt roads, now there's a lot of new houses, they've all got concrete tile roads and concrete driveways and a patio. Water can't soak into concrete, it runs off."

Flash flood watches were still in effect for Southern California Monday night, making conditions right for more of the same.

"The engineer from the county roads department suggested we get some sandbags," said Vick. "So, we will probably do that before the evening gets over with."

Late Monday afternoon, a county official said there might be some funding available to help with the cleanup. That would be good news, says Vick, because his insurance company already told him they can't help.

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