Dream Home

Through an email list comes this story of an ingenious (but not well thought out) house. From Sign-On San Diego:

Furnished home found in storm drain
2 bedrooms, kitchen and a concrete dam built near El Cajon

It wasn't the TV, VCR and DVD player hooked up to batteries in the drainage tunnel that had sheriff's Cpl. Troy DuGal shaking his head yesterday.

And it wasn't the homemade methamphetamine pipe or the improvised kitchen, complete with a pantry. It wasn't even the mirror over the bed.

It was what the homeless residents had built behind all that: a dam.

Having turned a storm drain into a two-bedroom apartment, they had erected a waist-high barrier of masonry and concrete to stop water from flowing through their makeshift home.

"It's really quite amazing to see what human ingenuity can come up with," said county flood engineer Cid Tesoro.

Deputies found the encampment Wednesday in an unincorporated area between Greenfield and Hart drives, near a Graves Avenue apartment complex, after spotting a woman trying to get through a fence down into the culvert, where deputies had found her living last fall.

She and a man living with her were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism, as well as a number of misdemeanor charges.

The culvert was divided into three sections by the two long concrete walls that held up the walkway above it. On the other side was another apartment.

Between the two sets of living quarters, deputies found a middle chamber filled with bags of trash and human waste.

"Just really nasty," said Deputy C.E. May.

And a bit more:

Having an encampment crop up so soon after shutting down an earlier one is frustrating to law enforcement officers like DuGal.

He knows the two transients on sight. He chased them out of other encampments in the same culvert last year.

"There are four outstanding warrants on each of them, from me," DuGal said.

"The homeless are in a sad situation, no doubt about that, but this is a public safety hazard."

Scattered across the encampment floor were about 30 cell phones, all believed to have been stolen.

"You ask them where they got the phones and the answer is, 'I found it in a Dumpster.' People don't throw away perfectly good cell phones," DuGal said.

Deputies also found syringes - some of them used - and realistic-looking toy guns amid the bicycles, mattresses, camp stoves and bedroom furniture.

"They'll tell you they're not criminals, but we find them with meth pipes, marijuana pipes, weapons, stolen property," said Deputy Angela Pearl.

For those who set up housekeeping in the drains, it's often a matter of convenience, DuGal said. They complain to deputies that getting into homeless shelters like St. Vincent de Paul is just too hard.

And why this is not a good idea (or maybe an excellent one; considering...)

But if they get caught in the culverts when storm runoff is flowing through, their home could quickly become a deathtrap, Tesoro said.

"These culverts are designed to channel floodwaters. On big storms, that flow is turbulent and fast," he said. "Something like that can be drastic, even deadly, for the folks in there."

Let's see -- spring rains = flood conditions. Sure, let them return and take care of a couple of problems in one swell foop... The place looks well furnished:

JOHN R. McCUTCHEN / Union-Tribune A sheriff's deputy looked over belongings yesterday in an encampment that was discovered Wednesday in a drainage tunnel in an unincorporated area on Hart Drive near El Cajon. Found in the space was a two-bedroom home loaded with furnishings.

Hmmm... Wonder if they kept cats...

April 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Depot
Ice Age Now
Jennifer Marohasy
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Next Big Future

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 13, 2006 10:58 PM.

Seattle Spine was the previous entry in this blog.

Swamp Meet Dave is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9