Mobile home park residents fear repeat of devastating '97 flood in Madera County

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About 100 people attended that meeting and most of them moved in after the '97 flood. (KFSN)

Heavy flooding in 1997 devastated a mobile home park in Madera County and now residents are worried it'll happen again.

A community meeting took place Saturday and many people are trying to prepare for the worst. About 100 people attended that meeting and most of them moved in after the '97 flood.

But there was one man who did go through it, and he says he is not looking forward to seeing it again. At the Wildwood Mobile Home Park in Madera County, some people remember the flood like it was yesterday.

"We lost power, and I had to get out," resident Louie Ruggeri recalled. "It was up to the top of the windows, and the water was coming in."

Ruggeri says it was a frightening experience, and he's worried it'll happening again. Up the river at Millerton Lake, authorities will release nearly 70,000 gallons of water Sunday. It'll add water to the San Joaquin River that's inching its way toward homes in Ruggeri's neighborhood.

"I'm concerned," he said. "I'm really concerned."

While his neighbors were at a community meeting to learn about potential flooding, the 85-year-old resident was packing up his home, removing all of his bedroom furniture and filling boxes with special keepsakes.

"I'm getting out," Ruggeri said. "Not going to wait around. Nope, because I been through two of them already and you lose everything."

Other neighbors would rather wait and are hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

"I am just going to pray," resident Susan Harrington said. "That's what I'm going to do. I hope it does not flood, and if it does, I'll think about moving."

The Madera County Sheriff's Office was at the meeting as well.

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