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Hundreds Evacuated From Downtown Homeless Shelter Due To Flooding

Overturned dumpsters and portable restrooms outside the Alpha Project downtow...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: Overturned dumpsters and portable restrooms outside the Alpha Project downtown tent shelter following flooding from a winter storm, Dec. 7, 2018.

Over 300 Homeless People Evacuated Due To Flooding, Housed At SDCCU Stadium


Bob McElroy, CEO, Alpha Project


More than 300 homeless people remain at SDCCU stadium this morning after heavy rain and flooding prompted evacuations from a tented shelter in the East Village, authorities said.

The evacuations began around 9:30 p.m. Thursday because of flooding at the bridge shelter run by the Alpha Project at South 16th Street and Newton Avenue.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported the Alpha Project's 324 clients — the shelter was at capacity Thursday — were transported via Metropolitan Transit System buses to a temporary shelter at SDCCU stadium in Mission Valley.

A flash flood warning expired at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Downtown San Diego received 2.27 inches of rain between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Photo by KPBS Staff

Flooded bunk beds inside the Alpha Project tent shelter in downtown San Diego, Dec. 7, 2018.

RELATED: Fall Storm Drenches San Diego

The heavy rain brought flooding that caused damage to the bridge shelter as well as the bathroom facilities in the structure.

"(The flooding) caused sewage to seep and because of that we wanted to make sure the people being brought (to SDCCU stadium) would have an opportunity to clean up," said Jose Ysea, a spokesman for the city.

Ysea said a decontamination area was set up and the American Red Cross was called in to provide sanitary clothing, cots, blankets and other health services to the shelter residents, who were housed on two club levels of the stadium.

Shelter officials will assess the damage to the East Village bridge shelter this morning once the water has subsided.

It was not immediately clear how long the emergency shelter would remain in place at SDCCU stadium.

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