WESLACO, Texas – In June 2018, thousands of homes were severely damaged due to devastating floods and to this day some are still trying to recover. As hurricane season approaches, officials assure there are drainage projects underway to help minimize floods that may occur this season.
“We’re already going to start mobilizing pumps and setting up stations throughout the IBWC flood ways so that we can have pumps already accessible in case it starts to flood,” said Hidalog County Precinct One Commissioner David Fuentes.
As part of a $190 million drainage bond recently approved by voters, Hidalgo County is working on nearly 40 drainage projects to prevent floods. However, those projects are still in the design stage.
Smaller projects like Chapas Las Brisas between Weslaco and Mercedes have already started. That area is very low and very susceptible to flooding even with a couple inches of rain, said Fuentes.
”So what we did is we created a detention facility to capture water off of the streets. Even though that project hasn’t officially started, that detention facility is already capturing water off the streets to minimize the damages people may have if it starts to rain, ” he added.
Right now, workers are maintaining ditches to keep debris from creating any blockage. Something like a tree branch can cause a backlog in the water running, said Fuentes.
He urges residents to do their part by maintaining ditches in front of driveways clear as that serves as a pathway for water to get out.
All projects are expected to be completed within the next three years.