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Sacramento 'Safe Ground' sites flooded during historic storm

The city hopes to identify a more permanent safe ground option that doesn’t flood each time it rains.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Sunday afternoon, one city-designated 'Safe Ground' site in Sacramento was flooded during a historic storm and splashed by waves of water from a freeway overhead.

Sacramento attorney Mark Reichel shared video of cars from Highway50 unknowingly spraying water from the weekend storm down on an already flooded so-called "Safe Ground" site off 6th and W Street.

"The people here are living like rats," said Robin Cushman, an unhoused woman in Sacramento.

Cushman has been staying in the camp since March. She said her friend's tent recently flooded and caused him to need medical attention.

"I mean these people need to stay warm, otherwise... people are going to end up like him with the fire department here every hour," she said.

ABC10 took these concerns straight to the city's Department of Community Response.

Gregg Fishman, spokesperson for the department, said the city was able to relocate these people once it became untenable for them to stay there.

Fishman said the city transferred some people to the temporary shelter that opened inside City Hall. Over the course of the weekend, they checked in 150 people.

“We are actively looking now for additional 'Safe Ground' sites where we can move some of those people, if they are still there. We are also actively placing those people in other shelter situations,” Fishman said.

By late Monday evening, City Hall was basically back to normal, and Fishman said they hope to identify a more permanent safe ground option that doesn’t flood each time it rains. 

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