Santa Rosa residents evacuate ahead of storm damage to homes

Another atmospheric river storm is concerning for some people who've already had to deal with damage this winter season. Some residents in Santa Rosa have voluntarily evacuated from their homes.

"If this gets all the way down, it will go downhill to the house," said Darien Escoto as he pointed to the damage mudslides have already caused to two fences and a light pole behind his home on Cooper Drive in Santa Rosa. 

He said he and five family members first evacuated in mid-January when his home was red-tagged. They were allowed to return February 1 when city officials determined that the hillside had stabilized. 

Escoto said his family left again last week when new rain caused the hillside to slide closer to his home. 

"I went to my sister's for a couple of days. Then I went to hotels and it's just stressful having to go to work," said Escoto,"I have a baby.  It's just not nice having to go around like you're homeless."

Escoto said the hotel rooms have been paid for by the Red Cross and his family.

"Very concerned, very worried," said Mario Lopez who owns  the home Escoto and his family live in.

She came to take a look at the damage. 

Lopez said she's owned  the property for 35 years and there has never been a mudslide here before.

"If the mud comes into the house, it's going to be bad somebody die or somebody hurt," said Lopez.

SEE ALSO: Landslide in San Rafael shuts road, takes down trees

Escoto's home is among six properties damaged. He's next door to two homes that are currently red-tagged by the city.

"Right now, we're continuing to monitor it with our geotechnical experts and if anything develops as a result of the rains or any further movement that warrants it, we'll absolutely issue more red tags to keep our community safe," said Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal with the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

He said previous disasters such as fires and floods have prepared the city to be be able to respond quickly, including opening up shelters if there are mass evacuations.

"There's the potential that trees are going to come down. 
Power lines can come down. There can be short and long term outages and general storm-related issues for the next couple fo days," said Lowenthal.

Escoto has laid down wooden planks in the walkway into  his home,"I just don't want to step in all this mud getting into my house.

Sand bags are available to Santa Rosa residents at the municipal service yard on Stony Point Road. 
The fire marshal says the city has someone closely monitoring the situation on Cooper Drive.  

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU