BARSTOW • Residents in the Soapmine Road area of Barstow were left surveying the damage on Friday morning after a levee was repaired that had  broken on Thursday afternoon, resulting in flooding and evacuation.

The Mojave River began overflowing its banks earlier in the week after officials began releasing water from Cedar Spring Dam in Hesperia on Tuesday because of rain that fell in record amounts throughout Southern California.

Geoff Shaw, a senior engineer for the state Department of Water Resources, said Friday morning that officials were planning to reduce the flow of water from Cedar Spring Dam to about 300 cubic feet per second, down from 1,500 cubic feet per second on Thursday.

Water levels were receding in the Soapmine Road area south of Interstate 15 on Marks Road, Clay River Road and Nelson Road after crews worked Thursday night to repair a break in a levee that caused some residents to evacuate their homes. Mud still covered the streets and residents drove carefully through the muddy water on Friday morning.

Ewa Vaars, a resident living on Marks Road, said she had just moved from Colorado earlier that week. She was relieved that the water was going down in the area and hoped there would be no further flooding.

"Yeah, it was exciting," said Vaars. "I had to move my horses to my neighbor's property because they were standing in water. We didn't want the water to get higher and then not be able to move them out."

Kathy Clapman, a resident who lives on Clay River Road, said she was grateful to the Barstow Fire Department for helping her build a small dam in her driveway on Thursday night to keep the water from entering her home.

Several roads remain closed from Hinkley to Newberry Springs as of Friday at noon.

Hinkley Road at the Mojave River remains closed, as does Lenwood Road from Community Boulevard to Agate Road. In Newberry Springs, Minneola Road is closed at the Mojave River, and Harvard Road is closed two miles south of Yermo Road.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com