Rain, fire and mudslides provoke bad memories for Camarillo Springs resident

- Frank Zelinski is worried whenever there is a chance of rain. Three years ago, fire ravaged the hillside behind his Camarillo Springs home.

A year later, heavy rain loosened the burned soil and the mud and rocks came tumbling down. A number of houses were in the cross-hairs.

Some worse than others. Frank’s was one of those. 

The damage from the slide was so bad that he and his wife had to move from their home. It took a long time to make them livable again.

The Zelinskis were finally able to move back into their home in July -- only five months ago.

The disaster in this Ventura County neighborhood is an example of the longtime effects of mother nature’s wrath. There’s still a graveyard of broken homes that, for two years, have stood on San Como Lane as a reminder of a very bad storm. 

As the 83-year-old Zelinkski showed us his home, he pointed to all of the damage that had to be repaired. 

“This wall was demolished," Zelinski told us. "The mud came up to here," pointing to his thigh.

Zelinski thinks that another mudslide could easily happen. To others like Marshall Ellis, who works in the neighborhood, a lot has been done to shore up the hillside.

“The vegetation has grown back since the fire, and the city and contractors and a lot of people have done a lot of work up there and moved out a lot of dirt and rocks and put catch basins up there," Ellis said.

According to the Ventura County Fire Department, what happens to any neighborhood is dependent on the intensity of any rain it gets. It advises to always have a “Ready to Go Kit.”

Such a kit, says Captain Mike Lindbery, could include:

*Chargers, cell phones, laptops, tablets

*Change of clothes, blankets, 

*Prescriptions, toiletries, 

*Flashlight, eyeglasses

*Plans for your pets

*Legal paperwork

Lindbery said if you would like more information, check the department's "Ready, Set, Go Flood Preparation" page at www.vcfd.org.

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