Stockton storm aftermath: Potholes, downed trees and more

From auto repairs to costly flooding in homes to a sewer collapse, residents are faced with cleanup and bills

STOCKTON, Calif. — The series of historic, atmospheric river storms may be in the rear view mirror, but moving forward, there’s a lot to repair and clean up in Stockton.

Tommy Sanchez, Stockton resident, said he knows firsthand what it’s like to hit a pothole.

“It was this left front tire here,” said resident Tommy Sanchez, pointing to his car.

It happened to him last week at the southbound Interstate 5 onramp at Eight Mile Road.

“I didn’t see it at the time. It was a little dark. It was a little rainy as well. I just smacked it and then the light came on,” said Sanchez.

However, he’s lucky; it cost him only $40 for a used tire.

Across Stockton, potholes remain everywhere wreaking havoc on unsuspecting drivers.

“A lot of cars with punctured tires and bent rims and bent suspension,” said Albert Ortiz, a mechanic with over 30 years experience working at PK Pro Tires on Pacific Avenue near Harding Way.

He said, for some, pothole damage can equal expensive bills.

“He bent his lower control arm and his strut assembly. And so, some of the stuff like that becomes costly. Two tires and all that work is going to run about $700 to $1,000,” said Ortiz, who added this particular customer couldn’ t afford the repairs.

At W. Worth and S. Commerce Streets in South Stockton, a giant hole sits at the intersection thanks to a sewer line collapse. City crews constructed a bypass pipeline for the neighborhood and are working on a permanent replacement.

“Every employee was called into action. They’ve done a phenomenal job,” said Stockton city spokesperson Connie Cochran.

Cochran said city employees have been working around the clock, but parks will remain closed for now.

“The ground is still wet, and we don’t want to do more damage by going in with the heavy equipment that’s needed to remove those trees,” added Cochran.

In neighborhoods, the sound of chainsaws is music to the ears for Todd Carey of Stump Busters. His business has been non-stop.

Homeowner Vicki Gaia hired the crew as a way to be proactive with older trees in their front yard.

“We were just really worried that these trees would either fall on cars or fall on our house,” said Gaia.

The city is also asking homeowners to consider returning sandbags to original distribution sites: Oak Park Little League Field parking lot at 3545 Alvarado Avenue and the former Van Buskirk Golf Course at 1740 Houston Avenue.

The city said it will reuse the sand in Public Works recovery and construction efforts.

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