Water Problems in Portola

First it was snow for Portola, and now rain is causing flash flooding around town, even turning the road in front of city hall into a river. Public works officials are hoping for a break Friday afternoon but say they're working hard to keep residents safe and as dry as possible. 

Snow and ice along the roadways is preventing water from making it into the Middle Fork of the Feather River so it is forced to pool up in areas, or force its way into buildings.

"We had so much snow and now then the rain, and I knew it was going to do this," says local Marren Anderson, "But I've never seen it like this, I've been here sixty years. I've never seen it like this, quite like this in the streets like this."


We spoke with Kelly Griffith at one of his several properties in Portola. He says water gets under the houses but fortunately for him, it doesn't get up through the floor, "It hasn't caused too much problem. A lot of people that have got it, is the one's that got basements."


Members of The Station Church laid down sandbags to stop water from running across the road and into the second flood. The first floor has several inches of water inside and even higher water levels outside.

"I was parked back there and my secretary said 'I think you better move you car," says Pastor Brad Campbell, "And that's when it all broke." He says the first floor, with classrooms and a library flooded earlier this year, and they had just finished cleaning it out this week.

"We removed 90% of the carpet the other night. And now the rest is done. So cement floors from here on out," says Pastor Campbell, as members of his congregation drove through more than a foot of water, en route to turn off the propane tank, "We got quite a few coming out. Everybody lives close. Whoever we can reach." He says the congregation is still fortunate that the only damage was to property and not any people. Saying with a smile, the future is just cleaning up, "And now we can remodel the downstairs."

Officials say if you have any issues to report with flooding to go through the Sheriff Department's non-emergency line (530) 257-6121 and save 911 for life-threatening emergencies.