Coachella Valley, CA – Continuing the shift from emergency response to recovery, Riverside County broadened damage assessment efforts and set up a hotline that residents and businesses in and around Mecca can use to report damage caused by last week’s floods.
About 30 county fire/OES, code enforcement, health, housing and transportation officials were in Mecca Friday. Teams moved throughout the community to contact residents whose homes were damaged and identify their needs.
Mecca-area residents whose homes sustained damage during the recent rainstorm and subsequent flooding can use the 211 telephone system to report damage.
County officials said much of the floodwaters that covered a portion of the community have receded, but the damage caused by the rains, mud and debris is now being discovered as residents return to their homes. The 211 system will be used to gather information and better gauge the extent of residential damage in the area.
Businesses that were damaged can also call 211.
Early Sept. 11, heavy rains drenched the Mecca-Thermal area, sending water and mud more than two feet deep in some places through portions of the community.
Residents of Desert Mobile Home Park, commonly called Duroville, were particularly hard hit as contaminated floodwaters inundated the park, knocking out electricity to some homes and disabling the water system. Other mobile home parks in the area sustained damage.
In the 10 days since the floods, county officials have been working with community organizations to provide temporary housing to some residents whose homes were damaged, but Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins said the use of the 211 system gives the community a one-stop source to report problems and ask questions.
“It will also give us a tool to better assess the extent of the damage and determine the best way to allocate resources,” he said.
Anyone who wants to report an emergency should call 911.