Lindsay residents recovering from devastating flood last week

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Friday, March 17, 2023
Lindsay residents recovering from devastating flood last week
On Friday, a breach on Lewis Creek devastated the small Tulare County town of Lindsay.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Friday, a breach on Lewis Creek devastated the small Tulare County town of Lindsay.

Drone footage from Action News Insider Raul Lemus showed the community underwater.

Locals are still in shock over what happened and are trying to pick up the pieces one step at a time.

"That day was unbelievable. It was like a scene of a movie walking into this area for Lindsay was like walking into a horror movie." says Richie Hernandez.

He recalls the moments last Friday when his neighborhood near Foothill and Tulare road flooded.

A breach 100 yards away on Lewis Creek sent water rushing into town.

"The water was devastating, it was powerful, it was fast, no warning," says Richie.

Two doors down, Hector Duran's home flooded.

Two feet of water surrounded the house, and four inches drenched the inside.

Ring security camera footage shows the intense moment water started moving into the home.

Hector and his nephew put sandbags up and did what they could to stop it.

But every time they got water out of the house, more came rushing in.

"I felt very defeated. The water was going so fast I couldn't really do anything to save the house. I tried everything by putting sandbags but it was going so quickly I was just devastated," says Hector.

His furniture is stacked up, with priceless photos at the top of the pile.

Lindsay city leaders including mayor, Hipolito Angel Ceros, say they're doing what they can to help flood victims and prepare for the next round of rain.

Volunteers cleared debris out of Lewis Creek.

A donation and dry area is also open at the Senior Center on Ono City Parkway.

A local church, called Breakthrough, helped house people overnight.

Doors are open to everyone, regardless of legal status..

"It is definitely unfortunate to see but this is just the reality for communities that are often overlooked and underrepresented. There's this fear of deportation, there's this fear of documentation status," says Mayor Hipolito.

"But that is definitely not the case for the city of Lindsay. We are not asking for any type of status, there's not an eligibility list, if you are impacted by historic floods come and get these resources," Hipolito continues.

Community members say the silver lining is neighbors, the city, the county, and Lindsay high school stepping in to help each other through this disaster.

"It's amazing how when everyone comes together things happen, good things happen" Hector describes.

The city has declared a state of emergency and Lindsay City Council is holding a special meeting this Thursday evening.

It will include a discussion about the response to flooding, which damaged several dozen homes.

There are still people, in Lindsay and in the small community of Tonyville, in need of clothing, blankets and necessities.

If you would like to donate you can drop your donations off at the Lindsay Senior Center, at 911 N, Parkside Ave, Lindsay, CA 93247.

Other resources and sandbags are also still available.