The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Thursday’s rainstorm lingered into Friday but dry skies soon met those still contending with the water-logged aftermath — including 53 evacuees from two Redwood City mobile parks and school officials who saw 2 inches of flooding in recently built classrooms at Monte Verde Elementary School in San Bruno.
The evacuees spent the day surveying their water-damaged homes and receiving assistance from the Red Cross. Seven families from the La Mar Mobile Park and four families from the RC Mobile Park were voluntarily evacuated by firefighters and sheriff’s deputies Thursday first to the Fair Oaks Community Center and later to a county shelter on the College of San Mateo campus where residents from a Belmont trailer home park are also situated. In total, 32 adults and 11 children were housed at the CSM shelter, according to the Human Services Agency.
A number of other residents at the Redwood City parks chose to stay with their homes or left for shelter with family or friends, according to city spokesman Malcolm Smith.
On Thursday, flood waters rose to about 4 feet at the Bayshore Road parks. The parks’ locations make them prone to flooding but Thursday was considered extreme.
On Friday, city officials issued a mandatory evacuation.
In San Bruno, at least two inches of water flooded some classrooms at the school, said Monte Verde second grade teacher Clare Gallagher.
Gallagher is frustrated that school officials didn’t do more when the new classrooms were built to prevent the flooding. Rain has flooded other classrooms at the school in the past.
“My point is, it’s an ongoing issue,” Gallagher said.
She said district officials wasted public money that paid for the new construction by failing to prevent Thursday’s flooding and what may be future flooding, Gallagher said.
District spokesman Ryan Sebers disputes the claim public money was wasted. Rather he says the storm was so big that there was little or nothing the district could have done to prevent flooding.
“The deluge of water was so strong … that it just overwhelmed the drainage areas,” Sebers said.
Of all the schools in the school district, Monte Verde sustained the most damage, he said.
Sebers had no estimate of the dollar value of the damage.
Because of the flooding, the school district and the city may look into changes to the drainage system at or around the school.
About 550 students attend Monte Verde Elementary School, and district officials are planning to have the school cleaned up and opened Monday. Though the school is in San Bruno, it is overseen by the South San Francisco Unified School District.
Parents, teachers and staff can get more information about whether Monte Verde or any of the district’s schools will be closed Monday by monitoring the school’s website or the district’s website. The district also uses email and makes phone calls to report closures to the community.
In Redwood City, flooded conditions continued through Friday with an announcement that East Bayshore Road was closed from Haven Avenue to Seaport Boulevard at about 6:30 p.m.
The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA also stepped in to temporarily shelter animals displaced by the Belmont and Redwood City evacuations. PHS/SPCA accepted four dogs and one cat from residents housed at the CSM shelter which does not allow pets, according to spokesman Scott Delucchi.
Delucchi said PHS/SPCA will also provide free temporary shelter for pets of other displaced residents. He also said owners who may have lost their pets during the storm should visit PHS/SPCA’s intake facility at 12 Airport Blvd. in San Mateo as soon as possible and every other day until they locate their animal. Weekend hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.