GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Glendora have hardly moved on from the damage left to their properties and surrounding land by the Colby Fire in January — now they face a new threat.
As California’s record drought has escalated over previous months, stifling mid-state farmers and alarming officials with depleted water reserves, a welcomed relief is expected in the near future in the form of two consecutive Winter rain storms.
In Glendora, however, the comforting feeling of relief is quickly succeeded by anxiety and worry.
“Because mud and water doesn’t turn a quick left turn or right turn, it tends to go straight with inertia,” Tom Verti said. “It really is aiming for several of these properties, including ours.”
What was a fight against fire is now a preparation effort against mudslides and flooding, as much of the forestry around Glendora was overwhelmed, and ultimately destroyed, in January.
Verti and his wife Lizette have spent the last two weeks, as well as a thousand dollars, placing plywood and sandbags strategically around their property in an effort to protect it from potential mudslides.
“There will be a large amount of water shooting right down here,” Vertisaid.
In addition to the forest around Glendora, the Colby Fire affected a number of structures, including a guest house above the Verti home.
Now, the couple is hoping the water and mud doesn’t bring with it asbestos and lead from the damaged house.
“So, it’s a big concern,” Verti said. “We went to the city today and didn’t really get much of a response. We’re doing the best to put band aids on. (We’re) hoping for the best, expecting the worst”
The couples’ pond, reportedly stocked with $30,000 worth of Koi fish, is under particular threat, should materials from the damaged structure join the anticipated rush of water and mud.
CBS2/KCAL9’s ‘Sky9’ helicopter spotted a number of other homeowners taking similar measures, barricading their driveways and homes with plywood.
“If the water comes over, it will be like a big Niagara falls,” resident Ed Heinlein, who knocked down a wall on the side of his home to motivate the mud-flow out toward the street, said. “We’ve cleaned this area so the water comes this way.”
As the storms quickly approach California, most residents will undoubtedly rejoice in the first moderate, even strong, rainfall in months.
Other residents, who seem to be facing consecutive threats instead of environmental alleviation, will simply be hoping their homes remain free from peril through the week and on through the weekend.
“It has not really rained solid for three years, right? And we’ve got two-to-five inches coming — it’s unbelievable.”