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House to house along North E Street in Stockton the same scene unfolded: front yards piled high with mud-covered furniture; clothes, bicycles and toys hauled from flooded basements. Generators buzzed and National Guard troops gathered.
North E Street was one of several in the lower part of the town of 680 people that was especially hard hit.
The great divide
In the middle of the street stood a deep and wide chasm, created when the gushing waters from Garvin Brook shattered the asphalt. With no way to cross the road safely, neighbors waved at each other from across the fresh divide.
"The thing is we look around and we see all of our neighbors lost everything," said Shaun Wehlage, 29, taking a break from cleanup. "We lost one level, so we're lucky."
Next door at Paul and Lavonne Pettersen's house, Paul's collection of stuffed wildlife littered the front lawn. Everything was coated in thick mud.
The Pettersens also kept an assortment of wild animals in a back yard sanctuary -- from pheasants to quail to a pair of fawns that he once bottle-fed.
The floods wiped out the cages, pens and fences, apparently sweeping away the animals, too. On Monday, Pettersen said he was done raising wildlife.
"No more birds, no more animals," he said, " 'cause you feel too bad when they're gone."
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