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Mariposa Cleans Up And Prepares For More Rain

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

They can smell it, but utility district workers in Mariposa struggle to find a breached sewer line that is taking on unwanted water into its system.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Heavy rains brought flooding and erosion in Mariposa County on Tuesday. Crews spent Wednesday working to redirect flood waters and identify a breach in the wastewater treatment system.

On Tuesday, a problem with a culvert caused runoff to be diverted out of the Mariposa Creek watershed and through the 49er Shopping Center.

With a break in the weather, Randy Foley is taking advantage. He's offloading a bobcat from a flatbed truck in the 49er Center's parking lot as water from the watershed continued to race under the truck's wheels.

"We gotta go break some concrete out and get it so if it rains again, the water will drain," Foley says.


0208 17 an mariposa auto shop flooded

Water runs through Mariposa Auto Trim after a culvert fails in the Mariposa Creek Watershed. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Sandbags and gravity kept most of the shops dry, with the exception of an auto shop that had water running through both sides and around a concrete floor that bubbled up and is now two feet higher than it was.

0208 17 an mariposa sandbags

State Corrections and Rehabilitation crews stack sandbags in Mariposa in an effort to prevent future flooding. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Nearby, you could smell sewage as the Mariposa Public Utility District searched for a hole in one of its pipes. The district's Mark Rowney says the system is taking on water.

"It's just overloading our sewer plant. We're just trying to find where the water's getting into our sewer main. This is private property and stuff. But, we got to find that where the water's getting in and then we're gonna be cutting it off."

The waters of Mariposa Creek have receded somewhat. Alicia Rodriguez is with the Mariposa County Arts Council. Its gallery overlooks the creek, which she says was roaring.

"This building right here, the little potting shed. I was walking in four inches of water right there. So, we had to clear it out. It was crazy."

The National Weather Service says parts of Mariposa received 4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period and more is on the way. A flood watch is in effect for Thursday tonight into Friday night. 

The Mariposa County Sheriff has posted sandbag locations.

 0208 17 AN Mariposa Flood 1Mariposa Creek February 8, 2017   Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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