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Camp Fire survivors concerned about FEMA site sinking

Camp Fire survivors living on Hegan Lane in south Chico concerned about the ground caving in.

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 5:10 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2020 5:52 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Camp Fire survivors living in FEMA trailers on Hegan Lane in south Chico are concerned about the ground caving in.

Eight trailers once stood on Hegan Lane, but as you can see in the video now they're gone. People on the site said they're worried their shelter might go next.

Theresa Baker-Beale and her family are Camp Fire survivors, they've been living at the Hegan Lane FEMA trailer site since August 2018.

“For the first couple months it was great, no more problems,” Beale said. “Then the rain came and then that's where things kind of started to feel like they were falling apart around here.”

Officials with FEMA said it was the first rainfall at the site and on Dec. 2 the dips started to appear.

“One of the waste management trucks had sunk into the ground,” Beale said.

A trash truck driver tried to avoid a low spot shown in the video. The driver tried to avoid it swerved over, got his tires stuck, and almost flipped over. As of right now, waste management trucks don't drive through this property any longer.

“I drive a big mercury mountaineer and after the garbage truck sunk it kind of worries me to come to drive on this side, because I'm afraid my truck might go in,” Beale said.

Action News Now spoke to FEMA about this issue.

“Based on the heavy rains that occurred early December, there were small pockets in the area within the community where we saw soil compaction issues,” FEMA representative, Michael Foster, said.

Beale said they put cones around the area so people would avoid driving on it.

The low spots we're seeing run along the sewer line but the housing unit lead said it's not a correlation to a problem with the sewer system, and the Army Corp will be here to assess the problem and begin repairs.

“Sometimes things occur, this is soil as we know," Foster said. "With the gravel and the soils and the heavy rains, it did create divets in certain areas but those are being addressed now. As far as the residents and occupants they're not in any sort of danger because safety and security is a priority number one for us at FEMA, which is why we brought in the army corp of engineers.”

Eight trailers were moved from one side of the property to the other because levels were off and FEMA said doors weren't closing properly.

FEMA said the Army Corps of Engineers will be out on location on Jan. 20 to assess the holes and each trailer on site. FEMA hopes to have the fixes fully completed by the first week of February.

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