Residents in San Diego neighborhoods devastated by flooding beg city leaders for help

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Fighting back tears some residents who were devastated by flash flooding called on top city brass for help Tuesday.

“Everything we have is gone,” shouted one woman at Mayor Todd Gloria.

Gloria and other senior city leaders were giving reporters an update outside Lincoln High School on the unprecedented flooding that hit the county Monday when they were interrupted by people impacted by the storm that has taken America’s Finest City by surprise.

The residents from nearby neighborhoods said they’ve been dealing with flooding for years when it rains. They accused the city of neglecting their communities by failing to clear storm drains, for example.

“They should have not neglected our infrastructure,” said community advocate Tasha Williamson.

Williamson said it was the first time the residents were able to speak to someone in charge.

“The damage is massive. It’s massive. People, they were submerged. Their homes were submerged. To me, it made me reflect on (Hurricane) Katrina. We are living in Louisiana in San Diego California.”

Gloria called the damage caused by floodwaters heartbreaking and said he saw entire lives changed in just a few minutes. “Nobody anticipated the severity of this storm.”

He and other city leaders maintained the city did the best it could to prepare.

Gloria said the neighborhoods of Southcrest, Mountain View, Encanto, Logan Heights and San Ysidro were among the hardest hit.

Officials said in Southcrest alone, emergency teams had to rescue more than 100 people and 30 pets.

Southcrest Resident Juan Lopez said he lost four pet birds in the flooding. He was busy trying to get three of his neighbors to safety.

“Literally the river was on top of the apartments,” he said.

“I tied myself from a tree, and I crossed the bridge, and I helped the fire department, I helped them take some people out, cut the fence.”


Floodwaters sent cars floating down roads on some San Diego streets Monday. A day later, the destruction from the storm was still visible with cars on top of each other that had been swept away by water.

Nearly 900 emergency calls for serve were made city-wide as water quickly reached the ceilings of some homes. Cars could be seen floating away in the fast-moving gushing water.

On Tuesday, residents were using brooms and hoses to try to clean up mud that’s filled their streets.

Gloria said it’ll take weeks if not months for the hardest hit areas to recover from the storm and promised the city would leverage state and federal resources.

A FEMA spokesperson told ABC 10News it stands ready to help local officials in San Diego should they request assistance.

Residents impacted by the flooding are being asked to fill out a county survey online that’s assessing the damage.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.