Family sues Chula Vista over flood damage to home

CHULA VISTA, Calif.  -– A Chula Vista family is suing the city for $672,000 because they claim officials have done nothing to prevent their home from flooding during heavy rain.

Lucy and Sergio Melendrez say they have repeatedly asked the city to take action, so now they are going to court.

“We were frustrated,” Lucy said. “We were in 2½ feet of water. Everything had to be replaced.”

The worst flooding took place during  a storm that hit the area back in December 2018. The Melendrez’s home backs up to a city park. The couple says a storm water canal next to their backyard isn’t wide or deep enough to handle the storm runoff. As a result, heavy downpours cause runoff to spill into their backyard and seep into their home.

“I’ve exhausted all my avenues,” Lucy said. “I’ve called the Mayor’s Office.”

She said flooding has caused more than $70,000 in damages to their home and the two adjacent properties the family owns. They say the city didn’t offer to pay for the damage and has not fixed the drainage problem to prevent future flooding. They’ve hired an attorney to seek an additional $600,000 in damages since they will have a difficult time reselling their property now that it’s known as a flooding risk.

“It’s our custom to purchase properties, fix them up, and two to five years later sell it,” Lucy said. “We can’t do that in this situation. So, it’s taken our business away from us.”

FOX 5 reached out to the City of Chula Vista Tuesday. A spokesperson said they have not received the lawsuit and cannot comment on pending litigation.

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