RIO LINDA, Calif. - While thousands of residents across Northern California were surveying damage, looking at downed trees and power lines, a dozen residents in Rio Linda were racing to save their homes.
Dry Creek flooded, spilling over the banks early Sunday morning after another storm moved through the area, dumping almost 2 inches of rain in 24 hours.
The result was flooded streets, driveways and homes on E Street, just south of Rio Linda High School.
"It started coming across the road, and we knew once it crossed the road we were done," Diana Romero said. "It's horrible, it's a horrible feeling. I'm afraid it's going to come in my house."
Fortunately for Romero, her home was spared. Her neighbors weren't as lucky.
"We ownfive houses on this street in a row," said David Murphy. "Every one of them are wet today."
Most of the residents agree Victor Valyavski's home was the worst hit. The back room of his home was underwater, along with at least three feet of water in his chicken coop.
Several chickens and rabbits died. The family tried to save as many as they could, using a plastic child's pool to float the animals to safety.
"Very frustrating," Valyavski said. "I don't know what to do now. A lot of chickens died, the rabbits and the cat is still in the tree somewhere in the back."
Stephen Smith doesn't have a much damage, but a friend lost most of the belongings in his bedroom, including a Playstation 3.
"It's probably 6 to 8 inches deep," Smith said. "Everything is destroyed in there; everything's wet."
But what angers Smith more than the damage was the lack of available sandbags. He had to buy all of his at the local hardware store.
"It flooded before we had the sandbags," Smith explained. "I looked up the distribution centers and nobody had any sandbags out."
The Sacramento County Department of Water Resources did not have any sand bag distribution sites open. Department spokesperson Diane Margetts said Sacramento and Sacramento County work with the Emergency Preparedness Office to gauge every storm. This time they didn't feel there was a reason to open them.
In fact, distribution sites haven't opened since a storm on New Year's Eve, in 2005, according to Margetts.
Margetts said she'll release a statement Monday explaining the department's rationale.
It's a day and several sandbags short for the people in Rio Linda.
"It's a real heartache for everybody on this street," said David Murphy. "Whatever got wet has to come out. The water will spoil anything, the bed, TV, anything that it got to."
By Nick Monacelli, firstname.lastname@example.org