SAN RAMON, Calif. - Dozens of elderly San Ramon residents are still unable to live in their homes. This, after a New Year’s Eve flood sent a river of water into their senior community.
Step inside Sue Curtis’ condo, and there’s not much to see.
"This is what’s left of my house," she said, motioning to an empty living room with ripped-up flooring.
A resident for 10 years, her one-bedroom unit is now home to furniture ready to be scrapped, and remnants of water damage.
"All I wanted to do is get my stuff and get out. And I wanted my neighbors to get out," said Curtis.
December 31, downpour inundated the Sunny Glen Senior Center in San Ramon.Sixteen-of-229 units and houses were flooded, and left uninhabitable, including Kathy Hyde’s..
"It was just coming in so fast that my dog was on the couch. And I ended up going on the couch," she said. "We’re thinking about how are all of us going to get out okay, and safely?"
First responders turned to tactical gear to traverse the floodwaters, which swamped most of the senior community.
Former resident association president Guy Gardner says poor drainage, and a wall at the back of the property, which separates San Ramon from Dublin, exacerbated the flooding.
"It’s basically a dam. A dam that when the water comes down this way, instead of it running downhill, this direction, it’s stopped here," he said.
KTVU reached out to officials with both San Ramon and Dublin to learn more about the wall. The Dublin city manager said if the wall was built by that city, construction dates back to the mid-80s. But not much else is known about the wall and why it was constructed.
Abatement and restoration teams have been working to repair damage, and make units livable. But time is a factor.
Those with flood insurance have a safety net. But resident Helen Cox paid cash for her unit, and wasn’t required to purchase flood insurance. She’s now at an area motel..
"I have home insurance, but it only covers four weeks of stay here," said Cox.
The clock is ticking, as time drags on for many at the Sunny Glen Senior Center, who’ve seen nothing but stormy skies so far in the new year.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter, @JesseKTVU and Instagram, @jessegontv