Storm Cleanup Continues for 2 Owners : 5 Evacuated Families Back Home

Times Staff Writer

Two Glendale families are still cleaning up from last weekend's heavy rains, which sent mud and water into their hillside homes. However, they and three other families evacuated during the storm have returned to their residences along Cielito and Ridgeview drives.

"This was a natural accident. So what can you do?" said Stephan Khachadrian, pausing from his cleanup chores at his home in the 1500 block of Ridgeview Drive. Khachadrian, who is a physician, said his medical books were badly damaged by the flooding, as were a wooden basement floor and stairwell. He estimated the damage at $5,000 but said the house is insured.

Nearby, the owners of a home in the 1500 block of Ridgeview Drive have yet to begin digging out the more than two-foot-high piles of dirt and debris that flowed into their backyard from the hillside above. Benoit Malphettes said he did not know how much the cleanup of his yard would cost.

Malphettes said he and his brother, Emmanuel, were awakened by the sound of rain and wind about 4:40 a.m. Sunday. They worked feverishly to keep water and dirt out of the house by propping extra doors against the outer walls.

"There's really no time to think about anything else but trying to save the house," Emmanuel Malphettes said.

Although five families in the Cielito Drive area were forced to leave their homes until Sunday afternoon, only two of the houses were damaged.

Meanwhile, city officials said they have repaired an electric pump at the Melwood Water and Power Station at Cielito Drive and Deermont Road. The underground pump malfunctioned during the storm, causing the station's reservoir to overflow and send more water down the hills.

City engineer Don Campbell said a survey of the area showed no major structural damage to any of the homes. He declined to say whether the storm drain at the top of the hill had worked adequately during the storm or whether the city had properly maintained it.

"Several thousand dollars would clean all of this up," Campbell said. "It is too early to say who is responsible."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World