In addition to dealing with the summer heat, residents of the Imperial Valley also experienced an unusually wet summer after a series of storms made their way through the area.
The July storms caused millions of dollars in damage to properties, Imperial Irrigation District infrastructure, farmland and county roads.
The July 13 storm, which caused a breach in the East Highline Canal, forced a total of 12 Calipatria families from their homes after the east end of the city was inundated with water.
“Here in the Imperial Valley, it rains two to three inches a year,” Imperial County Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas Jr. said at a July press conference. “(On July 13), it rained one inch in one hour. These old drains aren’t equipped for that.”
Just two weeks after the July 13 storm, the Valley was hit with tremendous rain again.
The July 31 storm caused a 250-foot breach in the Westside Main Canal, which forced residents of Westmorland to conserve their use of water.
The second storm also forced a number of El Centro residents living in the Country Club Villa Apartment Complex from their homes.
A total of 14 units had their power cut, while the roof on one collapsed.
Many county roads were washed out or had their structural integrity compromised, causing the county to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the roads. Some of the worst damaged were significant arterials connecting the Valley, including Even Hewes Highway and Dunaway Road.
Meanwhile, farmers around the western portion of the Valley are still awaiting federal assistance after some of them saw their farms and crops damaged.
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