PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Some Tulare County residents continue to pick up the pieces after intense floods tore through several homes in the past week.
Additional storms are in the forecast, and many of those same residents could be threatened once again.
Juan Ferrer and his daughter’s homes are in the area which was ordered to evacuate off Avenue 152 in Porterville, as each was filled with several feet of water in the recent floods.
Ferrer says he had to make his way through the water himself to get his mother’s medication. Monday he continued to clean up, as he threw away much of what he owned.
“I am concerned. But I have to think about today. What is it that we can do today to prevent anything worse from happening inside the houses,” said Ferrer.
He had to pay for all of it, he rented a pump with his neighbors to clear out the water, he has countless fans all throughout his home to dry everything out, and he’s had to tear out all the sheetrock around the house from where the water sat.
Ferrer says he didn’t have flood insurance, and that without the help of his family, he wouldn’t know what to do.
“I say just listen. They told us this could happen again, and I don’t want you guys to think that what you’re doing right now, that you’re just wasting your time. They’re like, ‘No man. We got your back right now. We’re gonna help you right now and if it happens again, we’re gonna be back again,’” said Ferrer.
At the Tulare County Fire Station right down the street on Olive Avenue, residents continued to come out to fill sandbags, to try and stay prepared. County crews have tried to do the same, they continued to fortify levees as they made repairs to areas damaged last week.
Emergency responders are ready to go in Porterville, Visalia, and other communities, for what could come next.
“We’re ready to handle things and we’re prepping for the worst and hoping for the best,” said Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman.
The county wants to document the damage to apply for federal aid and has asked that residents fill out their property damage form.