Residents demand city pay for flash flood damages


CHICO, Calif. - Some home owners in Chico are blaming the city for a flash flood that ripped through their neighborhood earlier this week. This is the second time the Bancroft Drive neighborhood has been hit with a flash flood in the last two years. The city said the drains cannot handle heavy rain flow.

Wednesday was day three of clean up after a flash flood ripped through Bancroft Drive late Sunday night into early Monday morning causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Neighbors said the city of Chico authorized a faulty drainage system, and should pay for the damage. "So whenever it rains the water doesn't settle in, it just runs off," said Bancroft Drive resident, John Enns. Enns' home wasn't damaged, but he said the way the drains are installed doesn't work. He also said the water rose 12 inches above the sidewalk "The City of Chico should have never let them put that small culvert pipe in to start with," said Enns. Last January, another flash flood hit Bancroft Drive, but at the time most of the homes weren't built. After the flood in 2013, local contractor Bill Webb bought some of the land and built 20 homes. Webb said the city should bear some of the responsibilities since they gave the go-ahead to build. "Plans were approved and it's in the process of those plans are built to specs," said Webb. "The curious thing is that it's only happened in the last two years and those installations have been in place for seven or eight years," said Chico's public work's manager, Ruben Martinez. Martinez said flooding is unusual for Bancroft Drive. He states the drains in the neighborhood can handle normal rain fall; not like the rain storm last weekend.

"I mean the city is supposed to watch out for the citizens of Chico. As far as I'm concerned, they let us down big time," said Enns.

Rain is expected this weekend in Chico, and public works crews were out earlier Wednesday trying to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.