Merced Irrigation District officials have settled a federal lawsuit filed by Franklin-Beachwood residents whose properties were flooded in 2006, to the tune of $5 million.
The decision by MID came Friday during the case's jury trial in Santa Ana federal court. The settlement was made official after a federal judge confirmed it Monday, according to Mick Marderosian, who represented around 900 plaintiffs from 275 flooded properties.
Merced County officials settled their portion of the lawsuit last month for $5 million, which means the plaintiffs will receive a total award of $10 million.
The lawsuit claimed the MID and county officials mishandled stormwaters that flooded the properties in the Franklin-Beachwood area and the southwestern edge of Merced along Lopes Avenue, Thornton Road and Ashby Road.
The Franklin-Beachwood area was hit hardest by massive rains in April 2006, which brought widespread flooding to the county, triggered school closures, the evacuation of hundreds of local residents and state of emergency declarations.
No major injuries were reported during the flooding, which left waist-high water and damaged hundreds of homes. Several days of heavy downpours pushed water over the banks of the El Capitan Canal and caused the majority of the damage in the Franklin-Beachwood area.
Bear Creek also went over its banks, as well as Black Rascal and Fahrens creeks.
An updated version of this story will appear later today on www.mercedsunstar.com.