Claremont residents face flooding from groundwater as nearby dam dumps overflow into neighborhood

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Friday, April 14, 2023
Claremont faces flooding from groundwater as nearby dam dumps overflow
Claremont residents face disastrous flooding from groundwater as a nearby dam dumps its overflow into the Stone Canyon neighborhood.

CLAREMONT, Calif. (KABC) -- People living in Claremont are scrambling to protect their homes after flooding apparently linked to the nearby San Antonio Dam has begun gushing underground water, impacting dozens of homes and threatening their foundations.

Residents say they are pumping the water out, but it just keeps coming.

"It's just a mess, it's absolutely a mess," said Anet Larsen, who owns a home impacted by the floodwaters. "We've got seven pumps, we're just trying to pump the water out. Our pool is overflowing into the backyard."

The flooding is all happening at the cul de sac on New Hampshire Avenue in the Stone Canyon neighborhood. The homes at a lower elevation have been the most impacted.

"We've got ground water percolating up from somewhere and the amount that's coming up there's a lot of pressure," said Ken Larsen, who co-owns the home with Anet Larsen.

The city of Claremont says the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the San Antonio Dam. The dam's water levels had gotten so high it was at risk of overflowing.

The city of Claremont has no control over what the federal government does. It is now trying to help homeowners impacted by what the Army Corps of Engineers are doing.

"What's happened is that the groundwater itself, because of all the storms, especially in March, is the groundwater levels are really high so any additional water it's starting to percolate up into the ground," said Bevin Handel of the City of Claremont. "It's not flooding like on the surface. We normally don't see it actually coming up."

The Larsens are doing their best to keep the water out but they worry the floodwaters are damaging the foundation of his house.

"I'm more concerned about my pool, the walls around the area because we're getting a lot of water underneath all of our concrete decking under the pool," said Ken Larsen.

But the city of Claremont isn't so optimistic. Officials worry that the problem will only get worse and spread as the snowpacks begin to melt and bring more water to the lower elevations.

"The most dangerous thing is, it could cause erosion and sinkholes, and they have to get this under control," said Anet Larsen.