San Diego

Homeless Moving Back to SD River After Powerful Storm

Hundreds fled area when floodwaters took over, sweeping away everything

Clean-up is still underway in Mission Valley after the powerful storm ripped through earlier this week. One of the hardest hit areas was along the San Diego River. 

It's home to nearly 250 of the city's homeless. 

Last week, NBC 7 spoke with a homeless man who lived just steps away from Fashion Valley Mall. After Monday's storm, we received many emails from viewers wondering what happened to him and if he's okay. NBC 7 found him but now, home is much different.

Rick Primmer has called a spot along the river home for the past couple of months.

He showed NBC 7 around a few weeks ago.

"This is kind of a neat little spot when I found it," he said.

What was once hidden from the world in tall bamboo-like canes, now looks much different.

"There's so much dead stuff around I can kind of camouflage it a bit," he added.

Primmer was like hundreds of others on Monday who took shelter outside the Central Library in Downtown San Diego.  

He added, "I was one that got to sleep in my clothes because everything was back at the camp." 

Others were not so lucky escaping the floodwaters and had to be rescued. 

Primmer said he has had to search for his belongings, caked in mud and barely recognizable. He added that he as well as others will continue to live there, making what is known as the hidden community along the river. 

"We're just beginning to get back into our little camps and drying off. Right now everything is mud," he said.

As of Friday night, the San Diego River stood at a little over four feet. On Monday, it was 10 feet higher than that, at 14.15 feet--the third highest of all time.

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