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Santa Maria installs Muscle Walls to divert water away from neighborhood

Santa Maria installs Muscle Walls to...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - There's a road closure on E Jones Street in Santa Maria - but what's interesting about this road closure is that the city has put up what are called Muscle Walls - that are used to divert water away from the nearby neighborhood.

Destructive flooding - that's what these Muscle Walls were installed to prevent.

"I left here, 12-13 years ago and to my surprise I come back and there's still massive flooding during storm seasons," Barbara Cohen said. 

Barbara Cohen knows all about the flooding threat in her Hancock Park Neighborhood.

"I flooded a car here, right here in Hancock Park, right around the corner from Marian Hospital," Cohen said. 

That was a handful of years ago.

"Destroyed my vehicle," Cohen said. 

It's because of events like this one that the City of Santa Maria proactively installed these Muscle Walls on Friday.

"I turned the corner coming back in, I submerged in three feet of water and I couldn't back out," Cohen said. 

The Muscle Walls are tough plastic barriers..that are built to take a punch from the water that flows in from the nearby ag fields.

"Couple months we've been living here and we were hearing some noise out one morning and some workers were out here putting these  barriers up," Santa Maria resident Steve White said. 

The walls are installed on the corners of East Jones Street and Marian Drive and also East Jones and Ferrell Drive. They're filled with water to keep them sturdy. 

"So this is a flood zone, which of course I was never told about when I bought the house," White said. 

It's not just flooding that Steve White needs to keep his eye out for. He had a tree come crashing down in his backyard this weekend.

"When we moved here, the first thing we did was we had half a dozen trees taken out because they were too close to the house actually," White said. 

You can use Palisade Drive to Main street during this closure.

"I drive through California, it looks like it did 25 years ago.. no infrastructure improvements," Cohen said. 

These Muscle Walls are only temporary. They'll be removed after storm season. 


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