MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — KVEO first told you about a McAllen neighborhood where dozens of families were left without homes following a faulty drainage system near a city park, last week.
This week, McAllen city commissioners voted to approve a construction project that would help alleviate flooding from Ware Ridge Estates.
However, those that live there question if the solution is quick enough.
“We lost our house, our personal belongings, furniture, appliances, our cars and the city is doing what?” said Rogelio Martinez, a retired veteran who lives on Cornell Avenue. “Interested in expanding and expanding and what about us? We need someone to take care of our matters too.”
Martinez is just one of the dozens of homeowners who live on Cornell Avenue that have been forced to move out and are now looking for answers.
Neighbors tell KVEO because of the way a baseball park was built in 2018, directly behind their subdivision, the water from the park, that is elevated, drains straight into their homes.
We asked the City of McAllen what is being done to fix it.
“There was a lot of flooding in that area during the hurricane and so what we’ve done is we’ve added a storm sewer line that’s going to come from Cornell and we’re going to place an inlet there, a box inlet, put a new storm sewer line probably a 36 inch pipe underground, connect it to a 42 and then that 42 is going to go to a 60 inch pipe and into the ditch,” said Roy Rodriguez, City Manager for McAllen.
The contract was awarded at Monday’s city commission meeting, but the project will take eight months to complete, according to Rodriguez.
“It’s been two years going and for them to say it’s going to take eight months? It’s kind of ridiculous,” said Veronica Garza who is now living in an apartment after being displaced.
Her insurance does not cover that expense.
This is the second time Garza has had to move out because of her home and cars being flooded.
Garza tells KVEO she wishes that drainage solution would have been done when her house flooded the first time.
She said eight months is too long and other neighbors agree.
“I understand projects like these take time, but we need a short-term solution, because the hurricane season is still not over,” said Carlos Elizondo who also lost his home two weeks ago.
Crews have been cleaning the homes and street all day and night.
The majority of the homes have been gutted and trash has been strewn across the sidewalks of what remains of the homes.
KVEO asked City Manager Roy Rodriguez if there was any short-term solution.
“There just isn’t, when it comes to drainage you either fix it or you don’t and so this is the permanent fix for that area and until we finish, all we can do is pump water out of there when it rains, we’re hoping that we don’t get another storm like that, let’s all keep in mind that was a hurricane and it brought us somewhere around 12 and possibly 15 inches of rain,” said Rodriguez.
The project will cost about $2-million dollars to complete.
That is just one drainage project of more than 50 that are in the works.
For now, the neighbors are taking out loans, discussing legal options and even considering selling the homes.
“I know there’s a lot of folks with much anxiety in our community and I understand that and I don’t blame them, but we are going to keep working on our projects, there’s over 50 of them that we have to do throughout the city,” said Rodriguez.
One thing is for certain, those that call Ware Ridge Estates home are praying the next eight months stay dry.
“We just want them to come out here, come see our homes, I invite you come see our homes and we can show you around,” said Elizondo referring to city commissioners.