San Carlos homes flooded by rushing waters - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Carlos homes flooded by rushing waters

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diegans are expected to get a break from the rain Friday morning, but for one San Carlos family, the cleanup job has only just started after raging water flooded their home and yard.

The Mertins said they put up plastic and hay rolls to prepare for El Niño, but they never prepared to have their entire yard under mud, debris and tons of rocks. Within half an hour, the water swallowed everything, washing away patio furniture, bicycle, even uprooting their fence. Several of their neighbors also experienced yard flooding in 6200 block of Cabaret Street. 

Joan McCollom's backyard a virtual sand pit. Her belongings are in another neighbor's yard. After 45 years, she can no longer live here anymore and everything needs to be removed from her home. 

Brothers Derek and Cameron tried to build a barrier, but Tuesday’s storm swept through their backyard.

“We were just freaking out. We didn’t know what to do,” said Derek Mertins.

The Mertins do not blame the flood on El Niño’s natural wrath.

A city storm drain pipe up the hill from the Mertins' home broke off. According to a neighbor, she reported the potential pipe problem to the city after October’s storms and said she warned that if El Niño hit, their homes would be in danger. The city said they checked on it often, but nothing was ever fixed.

“There is no way to prepare for it, but we are safe,” said Pamela Mertins.

Nine houses have flood damage.

The city spokesperson said crews are investigating what caused the pipe to break. They said it is too early to know who is on the hook to compensate the flood victims.

An emergency contractor made temporary repairs and risk management is working with the families.

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