Watch CBS News

Oakland Family Blames Caltrans For Repeat Flooding In Home During Recent Storms

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – An East Bay family is pointing the finger at Caltrans, after their home has flooded multiple times during recent storms.

For the third time in seven weeks, Theresa Mendoza of Oakland is pumping water out of her basement. The water line is two feet up the wall.

Mendoza said the culprit is a Caltrans drainage ditch and culvert off of Interstate 580 that runs along her back fence. In the 2000s she started filing tickets with the agency to get the area cleared of vegetation and debris.

The system worked pretty well, the home stayed dry, Mendoza recalled.

"In 2018, 2019 - they got a new system and they closed my requests for cleaning. With the pandemic, there was nothing done in 2020 or 2021 as far as clearing the ditch," Mendoza told KPIX 5.

Then came the atmospheric river on October 24th, which flooded the basement. Monday's rain event did the same and then Wednesday night's soaking rain.

Oakland Home Flooding
Flooding in the basement of Theresa Mendoza's home. The Oakland resident has blamed the repeated flooding on Caltrans not clearing debris in a culvert behind her home. (CBS)

"I have called Caltrans numerous times since the October event. I have no response," said Mendoza.

While KPIX 5 cameras were there Thursday afternoon, a Caltrans crew finally showed up.

Mendoza hopes things change and she doesn't have to keep renting sump pumps.

"What I want to see changed is for Caltrans to take responsibility and address the root of the problem. Clearing the ditch right behind my house is a temporary fix - because the problem seems to stem from something that is in the culvert underneath," she said.

A Caltrans spokesperson told KPIX 5 by phone that they are now aware of the problem and are looking into it.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.