The City of Stockton has made free sandbags available at the Oak Park Little League parking lot and former Van Buskirk Golf Course for residents concerned about flooding, following the heavy rainfall over the weekend and the upcoming storm.

John Smith (right) helps Rheanna Crane load sandbags into her truck at Oak Park Little League parking lot in Stockton on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

Rheanna Crane, a Stockton resident, came out to Oak Park Little League parking lot to help her 75-year-old friend, Vickie Staffor, with the puddles at her horses’ boarding in Lodi. Staffor lives in a trailer at the boarding site, which was also flooded during the rain.

Vickie Staffor pets her horse Halima at a boarding in Lodi, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News / Catchlight Local)

“My friend has horses, and one of them is 28 years old,” Crane said.
Crane said the horses would go under the shed in the rain, but the puddle made it difficult for them to take shelter.

“As soon as I heard about the sandbags I knew needed to help my friend out.”

Rheanna Crain

According to the National Weather Service, December 2022 was Stockton’s wettest December on record, with a rainfall of 8.5 inches. The rain led to several fallen trees, heavily flooded roadways and San Joaquin County officials declaring a local state of emergency.

Puddles of water after the New Year’s Eve storm at a boarding in Lodi, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News / Catchlight Local)

Teresa Alvarado, who lives in an apartment complex off Pershing Avenue in Stockton, said her porch was flooded by water coming from her neighbor’s house, where a bedroom was also flooded.

Teresa Alvarado holds a bag as Laarni Pineda pours sand into the bag at Oak Park Little League parking lot in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News / Catchlight Local)

“I came back home after working a graveyard shift one night, and there was water everywhere in the apartment,” said Alvarado.

As Alvarado looked around for help, a fellow resident Laarni Pineda lent her a hand to help her fill the bags quicker. Pineda is a city employee and was on her lunch break when she decided to stop by Oak Park Little League parking lot for a few sandbags.

“I saw her [Teresa] struggling, and I figured I’ll just help her out,” Pineda said.
The two were eventually joined by John Smith, who volunteered to help residents picking up sandbags.

John Smith volunteers to help community members collect sandbags at Oak Park Little League parking lot in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News / Catchlight Local)

Rudolph Serna, a driver with Conti Material Services, said he was first dispatched on Saturday to bring in the sand for sandbags at the parking lot.

“I’m just coming back with my second trip of load for today.”

Rudolph Serna, driver with Conti Material Services
Maria Cervania (left) and Ari Prak collect sand into bags at Oak Park Little League parking lot in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2023. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News / Catchlight Local)

The city’s website reported that the bags and sand are self-fill and advised that the residents bring their own shovels. While some residents helped others fill the bags and lift them, some left shovels behind for those who may need them after.