“I would like to see what the engineer proposed and then I would like to see what the City has done in response to what the engineer said that they should do to prevent this,” said Jewel Hoffman. “Last night it rained. We were up to 11:00 p.m. wondering if we were going to be flooded again,” she continued.
A wall of mud rushed down Israel Canyon Sept., 1 and slammed into 11 homes. The water moved large boulders hundreds of feet and shattered basement windows. Muddy water filled with debris dumped into homes and destroyed family possessions like photos and journals.
Homeowners say their insurance will not cover the damage. They also say Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love told them she can’t do anything to help with a government program to ease the burden to rebuild.
ABC 4 called Love, her city manager, a city planner, a city engineer, talked with a city worker driving through the neighborhood and stopped by city hall to get a response but efforts to make contact were not met with any attention from any city leader before this online story was posted.
“This is Mia Love. She is the mayor. She has the responsibility to protect us and I don’t think that happened. I don’t think she did everything she could after the fire to protect us,” said Hoffman.
Neighbors say the federal government awarded city leaders in Saratoga Springs grant money to prepare for a possible mud slide, but the city sat on the money and did nothing. One neighbor says the city explained it wanted to wait until the fall before starting any mitigation work against a possible mud slide.
ABC 4 contacted Love and her other city leaders and continue to wait for a response to these serious allegations.
“Did the city drop the ball?” asked ABC 4’s Noah Bond. “I think they did. I think there’s so much that could have happened they could have done. Doing nothing was not an option,” said Hoffman.
ABC 4’s Noah Bond also talked with Brooke Vick whose basement was also severely damaged by the flood water.
Bond: Since the flooding the City, I understand, has made this ravine a little deeper and it put in some barriers. Is that enough? Do you feel secure?
Vick: No I don’t feel (pause) I don’t know if I ever will living in this area.
Bond: But is it possible for the City to do something so that you can feel secure?
Vick: I’d feel like if there was a little more done in this area that has over flown; we’d feel safer.
Neighbors say they shared their concerns with city leaders about two weeks ago.
“Nothing has been done. Nothing that I’ve seen,” said Vick.
“I think there’s more that needs to be done. I haven’t seen them (Saragota Springs City leaders) up here for the past week do anything,” said Hoffman.