An alley in Ocean Beach was literally trashed. The heavy rains that moved through San Diego Monday afternoon caused a drain to backup in the alley off the 5000 block of Long Branch Avenue. The water backup toppled trash cans causing debris to spill out, which compounding the backup.
"There was just trash everywhere and all the cans were floating. There was a dumpster floating and hitting cars," said Eric Steinbach, who shoveled wet trash back into his trash can.( Fri Jan 22 15:10:33 PST 2010 $__output )
Matt Helt, dressed in shorts and flip flops in the pouring rain, desperately tried to pull trash from the clogged drain.
"It's just getting layered up with garbage and I'm trying to keep it open so some water can go in to it," said Helt, who used a rake to try to pull out debris stuck in the drain. He was knee deep in water. And so was Mercy Baron.
"Obviously all of our trash cans got all up and down the alley way and all the trash came out because trash didn't get picked up today because of the holiday. Bad Timing," said Baron.
But Gary Adams got the worst of it. His apartment unit is below the drain level and water and trash poured into his home.
"It wasn't trickling in, it was actually rushing in," said Adams. Luckily, he had recently purchased renters insurance, though damage to his property was minimal. Adams stepped through his soggy carpet and said he'll be staying at a hotel for a few days.
Residents say the backup happens when the hard rains come through. They said the city has worked to upgrade the drainage system in the area, but the trash and debris that clogged the drain made Monday's problem unique.
Residents had most of the trash cleared within an hour and the water began to recede. They're hoping the drain will remain stable through the expected rains the rest of the week.
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