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Coastal communities get ready for storm

January 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Coastal communities are getting ready for Tuesday's storm as San Pedro residents brace for more flooding.During last week's storm in San Pedro, cars were completely submerged, and two to three feet of water rushed into some of the homes and businesses.

Now, they're dealing with the anxiety that more rain is on the way Tuesday, while they're still dealing with the headaches with what the last storms left behind.

Sandbags guard the entrance to the La Cathedral Market but the damage has already been done. Last week's rain flooded the corner of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue with water about five feet deep in certain areas. The financial hit has been devastating.

"I had to buy every new things like for the business and business is closed and I'm losing money. It's really bad. I don't know what to do right now. Because we're cleaning up and we can't hire people right now because I'm broke, almost no money," said Sonai Prajapati, the owner of La Cathedral Market.

Store owners have lost thousands of dollars and now they're losing sleep with the threat of more rain Tuesday.

"When I go sleep, I'm like, what's going to happen the next day? We try to clean up every day so I'm thinking if we clean and this happens again, what are we going to do?" Prajapati said.

Just down the street from Prajapati's market on Fourth Street, it wasn't Tuesday's forecast that was causing anxiety. Instead, notices from the L.A. Housing Department gave residents of several flood damaged homes two days to repair what are deemed extremley hazards to the occupant's health and safety.

"How does the city expect us to repair in two days? And we don't have the money. You know, the tenants, they lose everything. If I could cry I would cry about it. What are we going to do? We need help," said Thu Van Nguyen, a San Pedro resident.

At Cal State Long Beach, crews have worked feverously to repair major flooding on the first floor of the student union where a storm drain ruptured underneath the building. Repairs could cost upwards of $2 million and take six months to complete. But most of the student union was operational on the first day of the new semester.

"Did damage to do the flooring throughout the building, office furnishings, our bowling alley, some of our student lounge space. It's going to be a little while before we get the union back up and operational for students but we're still open," said Dave Edwards, the student union director at CSULB.

Clean up and repairs have been a familiar story throughout Southern California. At the corner of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue, there are two storm drains on each of the four corners. The problem is that water flows down these streets from three different directions, so it's understandable that residents have trepidations with more rain coming soon.