Claremont Residents Struggling to Control Mysterious Flooding

High Water Street Flooding

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CLAREMONT (CNS) - Residents of about 20 homes in Claremont were struggling today to control what initially appeared to be a slow water leak but evolved into widespread flooding of yards over the past week.

Many homeowners were using portable pumps in an effort to control the flooding, which apparently began last weekend and intensified as the week went on. One homeowner told Fox11 he initially suspected he had a leak in a backyard sprinkler line, but that wasn't the case, and the water bubbling from the ground intensified over several days. The rising water level has led to concerns about property damage, with some residents already reporting cracks in backyard walls and seepage into garages. Many residents have purchased or rented portable pumps in an effort to control the water. City officials sent a letter to residents earlier this week saying the issue appeared to begin in the Stone Canyon neighborhood, but it spread from there. Although the exact cause remains a mystery, city officials noted that water is being released from nearby San Antonio Dam. In fact, the water level behind the dam has dropped by 20 feet over the past two weeks, city officials said.

Claremont city public information officer Bevin Handel told Fox11 Thursday morning the situation appeared to be the result of a perfect storm of factors, including the water-release from the dam, the recent spate of intense rainstorms and the beginning of runoff from the melting snowpack in the mountains.  ``All these multiple factors are contributing to what we've never seen before,'' she said, referring to the widespread neighborhood flooding. Handel told Fox11 the city is providing sand and sandbags for residents and providing referrals for contractors who can help with flood control.

City engineers and public works inspectors are also in the area to ensure the foundations of homes are not being impacted. She also said ``we're going to be working with these homeowners'' on various channels for reimbursement for property damages.

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