Skip to Content

County flood control project protects Palm Springs art galleries during Hilary

Riverside County completed its flood control road project in Palm Springs ahead of schedule, just days before Tropical Storm Hilary brought record amounts of rain to the Valley.

Traces of mud and debris were left behind, but for gallery owner, Tom Ross, it’s nothing close to the damage he saw in 2017 when water rushed over the roads. It flooded his gallery and the Safari Mobile Home Park next door.

“That just came crashing down from the mountains down the road into the trailer park, and did massive damage," Ross said.

News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao spoke with Ross back in July, when the county's construction was stalling business in the area.

“I was a bit of a crab during this whole process because I didn't like having my business closed and all that," Ross said.

After the project was put to the test this week, he understands what a difference it made.

“It was kind of amazing, because, you know, right when that deadline happened, it was finished. And then right after that the storm hit. And it worked," Ross said.

With Hilary in mind, the county pushed up its deadline to finish the road project.

“They've been at enormous flood risk for years. So being able to protect them is very rewarding," said David Garcia with the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

Garcia has been a part of this 2-year project from start to finish. He says 'catch basins' capture the water and prevents flooding.

"There's five of them in the intersection area here. And this collects all the water that overflows from Cherokee and Safari Park," Garcia said.

The storm water goes into an underground concrete pipe to redirect the storm water away from the area.

It's a system that proved it’s worth earlier this week.

During the tropical storm, Garcia and his team stayed overnight to make sure it ran smoothly.

“With the forecast and Hillary forming in the Pacific, we went all hands on deck to protect the park. We already had infrastructure in. And so we used that infrastructure and made sure we were out here with the contractor and the team to make sure they're safe," Garcia said.

After seeing the results firsthand, Garcia says this could be part of the solution for flood-prone spots throughout the city.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content