STOCKTON, Calif. — The City of Stockton said that their storm drain systems were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water that came down on Sunday afternoon.
Tyler Gonzales was one of the many Stockton residents that were experiecing the storm, and, as the streets surrounding his home flooded with rain water and cars nearby started getting stuck, Gonzales took things into his own hands.
"Put the bar between the grates and lift it up," Gonzales said.
Armed with a crowbar, a shovel and some rain boots, he started opening up storm drains around his flooded neighborhood near the Weberstown Mall.
"We sat there with our shovels or our crowbar, and were able to move them up out of the way, so that the water could flow freely. Because there was either debris or, in the case of the ones down the street, there was just so much water [that] it wouldn't flow at all," he said.
"Pretty amazing how fast this all took effect," said Tammy Lowe, a neighbor.
Neighbors watched as water crept up close to their homes.
"The water was from the street up to this part in my yard - all the way down, all the way across," Lowe said.
And they said that this wasn't the first time.
"Any time [that] it's a constant rain for awhile, this street will flood. It's a matter of time. The one behind me too - that one will flood up," Gonzales said.
"If this happens again, Stockton is in trouble," Lowe said.
ABC10 checked with the City of Stockton and they said, their storm drain systems were just inundated with the amount of water that came down in a short amount of time.
"Clearly, it overwhelmed the system. I don't know anyone here who has seen that much water here in their lifetime in just a few hours," said Connie Cochran, spokesperson for the City of Stockton.
While the water mostly subsided after a few hours, they say the sheer volume of water was something their system couldn't keep up with.
"It isn't a capacity that you would build because you wouldn't ever anticipate it. But, we do have a lot of capacity in the storm water system, and the pumps were working at full bore but, unfortunately just with having so much water in a short period of time, they were not able to keep up," Cochran said.
Moving forward, the city recommends taking the time to clean out your gutters when you can and to not sweep any leaves or yard clippings into the street as it could clog up the storm drains in your neighborhood.