Homeless camps flooded during the storm, some are reinforcing while others seek shelter

Comanche Creek and Annie's Glenn were just two of the places in Chico that saw portions of their parks flooded from the creeks. Some people just hunkered down while others are trying to make improvements.

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 7:13 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2021 8:56 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The first major storm of the season brought fears of flooding to many, and for some homeless people, they saw every possession they own float away in this storm.

One local church turned emergency shelter is trying to help some stay afloat.

The First Baptist Church here on Palmetto Ave. in Chico opened its social hall which houses 35 people right now.

But, this isn't everyone that had trouble with their homes, some had to get innovative to protect their homes.

"The water was up to this log here, and it went all the way up to the other side of my tent here so, another day of rain and we would've been flooded out of here," said Lee Roberts, a homeless man living at Comanche Creek.

RELATED: Cleanup efforts are still underway in Chico after yesterday's massive storm

The heavy rain and strong winds pummeled Chico Sunday. and some evidence of its power still remains at Comanche Creek.

"These tents aren't made to live in like this, so when you have water running under it 24/7 it starts to come up through the floor. See, I did all this yesterday dug a trench," said Roberts. "'Cause we were pooling, and we had a lake pooling outside and if we let that rise, we wouldn't be here right now," he responded.

Roberts wasn't the only one, someone's belongings they tried to barricade to keep water from coming and damaging anymore.

"My door got ripped open, nothing I could do about that," said Robert Ake. "So, I just grabbed one of the tarps that I could and just tucked my head in between my legs. Exactly, nothing else I could do. My clothing and my tent, probably going to have to replace that."

RELATED: Lake Oroville water on the rise after rainy weekend

"We just stay behind them and support them any way we can," said Gail Hill.

Hill is the pastor at First Baptist, and a board member for Safe Space, so it was a natural choice to open the doors, and for one man who did not want to appear on camera, this was salvation.

"It didn't wash me out or anything like that," the man said. "Everything that I have is wet, so I don't know what to do. It's very helpful. I'd be sad and cold and wet."

The people at the Safe Space shelter will be fed, housed, and have access to bathrooms and wash stations until Tuesday night.

Action News Now contacted the City of Chico to ask if they will set up any emergency shelters or give the homeless supplies to reinforce their campsites.

They told us they cannot comment because of the ongoing lawsuit against the city.

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