Southern California

Home Damaged by Storm Runoff on Brink of Collapse

Runoff from a storm that dumped record rain on Southern California has left a home perched above a wash on the brink of collapse.

Tuesday morning's downpour created powerful flood currents running through the Rubio wash in north San Gabriel, causing the backyard of a home in the 5300 block of Pondosa Avenue to give way.

"I just heard a boom,” said the homeowner, Ona Hu, who likened the jolt to an earthquake."I want to cry, you know, when I see my house."

Hu and her son relocated to a hotel after the home was red-tagged.

"We were like, 'Oh, my God.' And then the house looked like it was going to tip over, so we evacuated,” said her 18-year-old son, Allen Yang

Officials say the storm channel could typically handle a rush of water, but workers had demolished part of the storm channel as part of a railroad project and built a temporary retaining wall.

"It sounds like a train coming through. When the wash is really moving with a lot of water, it's a palpable sound," neighbor Manuel Gaoitia said.

That wall collapsed during the storm. Part of the embankment was washed away, compromising the home of a mother and her son.

"Their driveway and garage, the Earth underneath there is beginning to be eroded," said Paul Hubler of the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, which is responsible for the construction project behind the home.

Officials believe the house next door was not compromised, but that family was also relocated as a precaution. A third family was also relocated to spare them from the noise of construction.

No injuries were reported.

The project and the need for a retaining wall was supposed to be over by the time the big rains came.

Project officials say the homeowner will be compensated for any repairs.

"I just feel bad for my neighbors that they had to move out," Gaoitia said. "It's too bad, it's a shame."

Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority said it is taking measures to secure the temporary wall while working with the neighbors in the area.

Toni Guinyard contributed to this report.

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