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Storm’s Approach Brings Up Scary Memories Of Past Floods

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CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – The rain hitting the region this week has some thinking about the last big floods in the area.

Incredible images of parts of Sacramento underwater back in 1986 have never left the minds of people who live in flood zones. Another big storm in 2005 also caused widespread flooding.

Ruth Barr, 88, has been through several floods while living in her Woodside East condo in Sierra Oaks.

“I was scared to pieces so I put everything up as high as I could, all the chairs up on the table and everything up on the couch,” she said.

She’s not taking any chances if the water starts rising this time around.

“I’ll skitter out that door and go over to my daughter’s house,” she said.

Video shows her complex during the last big flood in 2005. Water was so deep in homes, some people’s furniture was floating through their living rooms.

Meanwhile, across town neighbors along Cripple Creek in Citrus Heights are also getting prepared.

“We have Bambi’s bag packed with clothes and food for her and we have bags packed for ourselves,” Barbara Dubnick said.

Bobby Hackbarth has seen Cripple Creek rise so high it came into his backyard, but his home always has been spared.

“It looks like a swamp,” he said. “There’s no way you can walk down there at all. We got pretty lucky.”

Residents in the Yuba-Sutter area have also experienced major floods.

It was a disaster in Arboga just as the new year was starting in 1997. A levee along the Feather River failed near Olivehurst, flooding homes and forcing 80,000 residents in Sutter and Yuba counties to evacuate.

“When I went to get in my car, open the doors, the water was right below the seat, the whole floorboard was flooded,” Albert Fruetel remembered.

Old pictures show the water eventually swallowed Albert’s car and most of his home. He was eventually plucked from a roof by a National Guard helicopter.

“You just lose everything,” he said. “You’ve got to come back and totally rebuild your house, everything new again.”

The rain on the way will be a lot, but it shouldn’t cause larger rivers to burst through levees or cause Albert to worry.

The Oroville reservoir north of here has plenty of room to hold rain. And while we’ve had some rain this season, it’s nothing like the amount that fell in storm after storm in 1997.

Deanna Shoopman and Kevin Glaspell were here during the ’97 flood too. The golf course they played on Tuesday evening, Plumas Lake, was under 5 feet of water then.

While they’re thankful this week’s storm won’t bring major flooding, they know it’s possible it could happen again.

“We’ve been here all of our lives because it’s a great area,” Glaspell said. “Like anywhere else, you have catastrophes of some kind or another and here we have the floods.”

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