Planada residents get help with housing after losing almost everything in flooding

Alyssa Flores Image
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Planada residents get help with housing after losing almost everything in flooding
EMBED <>More Videos

People who left their homes in Planada after losing almost everything in flood waters received much-needed housing assistance on Tuesday.

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- People who left their homes in Planada after losing almost everything in flood waters received much-needed housing assistance on Tuesday.

Many have moved from the emergency evacuation center at the Merced County Fairgrounds to a more long term location

"We had to throw all of our furniture, mostly everything away," explained Jozel Hurtado.

Hurtado says the water in his family's Planada home was up to his knees.

The family of 5 has now moved from the county's shelter at the fairgrounds to the Felix Torres Migrant Center in Planada.

Merced County agencies worked with the USDA to turn the seasonal housing units into long-term shelter for 40 Planada families for the next 45 days.

RELATED: Planada residents grappling with aftermath of devastating flooding

"I am thankful that we have a place to stay than be looking around or living in a car because I thought we were going to have to live in the car," said Hurtado.

On Tuesday, donations were pouring in for families forced to start over.

"Hopefully this helps a lot of people. I am gong to cry because it's been so emotional for me," said Christine Rocha as she was dropping off donations.

Rocha lives in Merced but works in Planada. She was overwhelmed at the truckloads of donations that came pouring in from local friends, family and business owners who wanted to help victims of the storm.

As people moved into the apartments, they helped themselves to diapers, packaged food, toiletries, blankets and clothes.

Jesus Hernandez hauled crates and containers of donations hundreds of miles-all the way from Inglewood.

He lived in Planada as a kid and wants to help many of his family and friends who still do.

He raised thousands of dollars for water, clothes, shoes, blankets, food.

Hernandez has been taking note of what donations are a priority. Next time, he will be focusing on necessities for students.

RELATED: How you can support the residents of Merced recover from recent flooding

Rafael Andrade and his wife moved into the camp over the weekend.

Their house in Planada was flooded with water that left behind mud, debris, and even worms.

They hope to have their home repaired before the 45 days at the camp are up.

Rafael says he and his wife are grateful to have a private bathroom and a place they can cook.

The apartments are furnished with appliances, mattresses and space heaters.

If you want to assist the people his hardest in Planada, the best way to help is by dropping off donations at Le Grand High.

Volunteers say one of the biggest needs for people right now is bedding.