The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Belmont flooding victims received goods and other items at an event Monday night.It was a homecoming celebration Monday night at the Belmont Mobile Home Park for hundreds of residents who were displaced by the December 11 Pineapple Express storm that caused about $3.3 million in damage throughout San Mateo County.
More than 300 residents in the unincorporated Belmont park returned to their homes at 100 Harbor Blvd. on Thursday, Dec. 18. The mobile home community of about 80 units experienced severe flooding after the heavy rain and high winds. San Mateo County, along with numerous organizations that responded to the flooding of the mobile park, hosted a homecoming for the residents Monday night.
“We wanted to do one last point of assistance for these families that found themselves homeless so close to the holidays,” said Effie Verducci, communications manager for the county’s Human Services Agency. “Families all have some levels of expenses in getting their homes back together. We want to wrap up the response on a good note.”
San Mateo County Public Works, the city of Belmont, the American Red Cross, College of San Mateo, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Caltrans were among the agencies present at the event. Masterworks Chorale performed holiday carols at the beginning of the event. Toys were distributed to children by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, while residents received a meal. Molly Stone’s and Second Harvest Food Bank gave each of the units a box full of groceries.
Many slept and received services in a makeshift shelter at the College of San Mateo, while agencies worked to mitigate the flooding. Finally, they rendered the park safe and fully operational again after some units were yellow tagged. Power is back on at each of the units. County Public Works pumped out the water from the park by mid-day Saturday, Dec. 13 and, according to the county, the property owner hired a plumbing company to continue pumping as new storms occur.
“We are back, thank God,” said resident Robert Tan. “We are still in the process of picking up the pieces. We’re still searching for disaster relief assistance.”
For Tan there were significant damages. He has to buy a new refrigerator and some of his military belongings were permanently damaged.
Resident April Orlando said she is back at work and busy. She did discover leaks on the top of her RV Saturday.
“Today’s the first sunny day,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the area drying out a bit.”
Last week, the Board of Supervisors passed a proclamation declaring a local state of emergency as the first step toward the county potentially recouping its costs from the state although it is no guarantee.
More efforts have been made across the Peninsula to help displaced residents. Art Mahoney has raised almost $3,000 for Belmont residents displaced from their mobile homes and hopes to raise about $4,500 for Safeway gift cards for the residents. The Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District mobilized as well, raising $31,000 for Belmont Mobile Home Park community were affected by the flooding.
Redwood City has scheduled open hours for a Relief and Recovery Services Center at Fair Oaks Community Center, 2600 Middlefield Road. Those residents still needing assistance are encouraged to drop-in during open hours, and will be seen on a first come-first served basis from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29 and 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30. There will be support for help with food, clothing and other recovery needs.
Redwood City has also scheduled a community meeting for residents of its two mobile home parks on 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6 at the Fair Oaks Community Center, which will focus on providing information about how those residents may apply for possible assistance from nonprofit Rebuilding Together to help with certain repairs to their homes in the mobile home parks.
To donate to Mahoney’s fund go to gofundme.com/bmhhelp.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105