By Derrick Blakley

(CBS) — These holidays are less than happy for a group of residents in Burbank.

They now know for certain they’ll be losing their homes to expand a reservoir that’s supposed to reduce flooding.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports.

Bonnie Gall fully expects this will be her last Christmas in the two-story Burbank home where she’s lived since in 1992.

“I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it as much as I can because I don’t think there’s going to be another one,” she says.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District wants to expand the Melvina Ditch Reservoir to help reduce flooding, and 15 homes that sit adjacent have to go. That includes Chrstine Kent’s home for 21 years.

“If I wanted go, if I wanted to move, I would have moved years ago. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to go,” she says.

No one questions Burbank’s serious flooding problem, which devastated the town just last year.

Those objecting to reservoir expansion say inadequate sewers cause much of the flooding.

Gall says: “Tearing down the houses and expanding the reservoir is no guarantee that they won’t flood in the future.”

They’re furious about the timing of this notice. A letter received Dec. 7 says residents have two weeks to schedule an appraisal of their homes.

“It hasn’t been much of a holiday season,” Kent says.

Burbank’s mayor says understand the anguish these homeowners feel. But the fear is if something isn’t done, many more residents will face lower property values due to persistent flooding.

 

Derrick Blakley