Several agencies are “executing inspection/abatement and criminal search warrants” property near the Bayshore Mall, according to the Eureka Police Department.
The operation began at 8 a.m. and prompted the closure of the mall entrance at Bayshore Way, the EPD release states.
Blankets, clothes and shoes were hurriedly packed into gallon-sized garbage bags, as residents of the encampment began to leave this morning. Loaded trucks were driving in and out of Bayshore Way and residents helped each other throw away trash into an industrial garbage bin. An estimated 30 people living in the encampment were vacated from the private property.
The area behind the mall, known as the Devil’s Playground, was the site of a massive encampment that was cleared in May of 2016 in a major undertaking that saw more than 100 people removed from camp sites and more than 60 tons of trash collected. Read more here, here and here.
A scene from the May of 2016 eviction operation at the Devil's Playground.
“The subject property is the site of many conditions which pose a threat to public health and safety including: illegally built structures, makeshift latrines draining into protected wetlands, electrical and fire hazards, accumulated garbage and debris and disposal of abandoned vehicles in sensitive habitat,” the release on this morning’s operation, which may continue into next week.
Photo by Ryan Hutson
A residence at the encampment.
Redheaded Blackbelt reports that staff from the Betty Kwan Chinn day center arrived a little before 10 a.m. "to assess the situation and see what can be done to assist people in relocating."
Read the release from the EPD below:
The City of Eureka Code Enforcement Division, Public Works Department, Police Department and employees of California Fish and Wildlife are executing inspection/abatement and criminal search warrants on a property located on the south side of Bayshore Way in Eureka today commencing at 8am.
The subject property is the site of many conditions which pose a threat to public health and safety including: illegally built structures, makeshift latrines draining into protected wetlands, electrical and fire hazards, accumulated garbage and debris and disposal of abandoned vehicles in sensitive habitat.
The property has also been the site of multiple instances of illegal drug trafficking, storing of stolen property and other criminal activities that have created unsafe conditions affecting the surrounding neighborhood.
The mall entrance at Bayshore Way will be closed to through traffic during this operation. These activities may continue as needed into early next week.