20 Homes Destroyed At Laguna Beach Mudslide

July 17, 2007
RJ Yumang

A mudslide destroyed 20 Laguna Beach homes on Sunday, displacing at least 45 residents and injuring 10. At least one of the injured residents is in critical condition.

The mudslide occurred between four and five A.M. after four hours of heavy rains. James Perez, Secretary of Environmental Policy, estimated $100 million in damages. He also stated that clean up will take three months and rebuilding the damaged homes will take one year.

According to Carl McKinney, a hydrologist who studies soil structure, the mudslide was caused due to heavy rainfall that lasted from 12 A.M. to 4 A.M. that day, and steep slopes that caused a significant flow.

“The soil structure was unstable and prone to rainfalls,” says McKinney. Residents complained they were not forewarned of the storm and that the government has been slow to respond with aid. Robert Lecusay, 38, a displaced resident, stated that there was very little help from the government.

“Take it from me,” Robert says, “they’re not providing anything.”

Lecusay lost his home and is currently living in his car with his two sons. His wife is hospitalized with a broken arm received from the mudslide.

Deborah Wilson also a displaced resident, expressed her lividness towards the mudslide and her loss of her personal values, such as her husband’s ashes.

“They can rebuild my house,” says Wilson, “but they can’t replace my memories.”

The government was unclear in its response to the victims of the mudslide. It did not provide information as to what the government would achieve for the fellow victims.

“There are systems in play,” says Perez.

But other than that, the residents were certain that the government has not done anything to help aid the neighborhood besides temporary housing and rebuilding. All they can do is rely on each other for personal needs and hope that everything is going to be okay in the end.

“I don’t know where else to go,” says Wilson.

According to the residents, they are not planning on moving and it’s just matter of time until the houses are rebuilt and they are able to return back to their homes.

“I have lived here for over 35 years,” said Wilson. “And I plan on staying.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License