Weather

Storm flooding displaces Boise Bench family

Wednesday night's intense downpour brought plenty of flooding to Boise, including knee-high water that coursed through a Bench family's finished basement and destroyed much of their living space and belongings.

Kristin and Pablo Herrera and their five children came home to their Pasadena Drive house about 6:30 p.m. to find the street and yard flooded, a condition that continued through the basement level where they do much of their living. Filthy water soaked their furniture, bedding and clothes. Children's toys floated through the area.

"The water pressure was so strong that it forced the back door open," Kristin Herrera said Thursday.

Boise recorded .62 inches of rain Wednesday, blowing the last record for July 8 -- 0.10 inches -- out of the water, the National Weather Service reports.

After the rain subsided the Herreras called in a restoration company to pump out the water. Now, she said, they have to replace the drywall and most of their possessions. Appliances including the washer, dryer and freezer, were ruined.

"Everything was destroyed. We just took it all to the dump," she said. "I just spent $10,000 on furniture for downstairs this past year."

The family doesn't have flood insurance and has yet to learn whether their homeowner's insurance will cover the damage, she said.

Friends set up a YouCaring.com page for the couple that by Thursday evening had raised $650 toward a $10,000 goal. By Thursday morning the Herreras had already spent $2,000 on restoration efforts, according to the fund-raising page.

The Red Cross put the family up in a hotel for five days and they hope to be able to return to their home after that.

Eight people live in the house on Pasadena, including Kristin's sister and the couple's five children: 9-month-old twin boys, two 12-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl.

Kristin was born in the house and grew up there. She and her husband bought it from her parents a little over a year ago.

"My parents lived here for 40 years, and nothing like this ever happened," she said.

The Ada County Highway District told the Herreras the storm drain in front of their house couldn't handle the downpour, causing the flooding.

Houses to their left and right got smaller amounts of flooding, she said, and a house farther down the street reported a flooded basement that ruined their Pergo flooring.

Ada County dispatchers received many reports of flooding in numerous parts of Boise during the storm. Most of the reports were of flooded streets and parking lots, but various residents and businesses also reported flooding, dispatchers said.

Correction: The National Weather Service originally reported 1.22 inches total rain fall on Wednesday. That was a calculation error on their part. Their corrected number is .62 inches.

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