Merced Mini Storage clearing out flooded units

Vince Ybarra Image
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Merced Mini Storage clearing out flooded units
As waters rose quickly in the North Valley two weeks ago, Merced Mini Storage was left completely flooded.

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As waters rose quickly in the North Valley two weeks ago, Merced Mini Storage was left completely flooded.

Now, the facility has been working on reaching tenants, asking them to salvage what they can and move out so that repairs can be made to each unit.

"When a tenant is finished with the unit, we ask them to keep the door open. It helps with the drying process," said Joyce Geoff, Merced Mini Storage manager.

People are coming to Merced Mini Storage to gather what they can after the storm in early January flooded the facility.

She said over 250 units still need to be cleared.

Geoff said some people left their belongings behind because of how bad the damage was.

"We're seeing major devastation. Water came in the units about 12 to 18 inches. And in some places, it was even higher," said Geoff.

Adding to the devastation, Geoff says the storage facility doesn't cover people's belongings -- and while they offer insurance, it doesn't cover flooding.

"That we know of about five percent of our tenants were covered through a specific insurance policy," said Geoff.

Even though these aren't homes -- FEMA recently stopped by the facility and said tenants should reach out for assistance. They say anyone experiencing hardship is considered a flood victim.

But there is a glimmer of hope.

These pictures show the community stepping up on Saturday to help the many elderly tenants who need assistance with their belongings.

UC Merced student Alexandra Lopez was one of those people who came out to help

"We just came and volunteered, and we all got, they would just tell us how many people they needed for each unit," said Lopez.

She was paired with a 64-year-old man named Jules. Lopez came back to the facility with Jules on Tuesday.

"I really wanted to make an effort to come and help him," said Lopez.

Jules didn't want to speak on camera but shared he doesn't have a family that can assist him with the books he stored at the facility.

"He just goes through the boxes and kind of just goes through every book, checking to see if they're humid or in good condition, and then he'll decide if he wants to part with them," said Lopez.

Lopez said she lost one of her grandparents last year, and Jules reminds her of her family.

"I just kind of like think of him like my grandpa," said Lopez.