EDCOUCH, Texas — COVID-19 has put communities across the Rio Grande Valley on edge.
Many people were worried about protecting themselves against COVID-19, meanwhile, city leaders were also working to prep and protect residents during hurricane season.
“We’re pretty much the end of the funnel. We get the water from Weslaco, Edinburg everything comes here,” said Edcouch city manager Victor De La Cruz “we’re in the middle of a lot of irrigation fields.”
For the last three years, heavy rain has shocked the community.
The irrigation canals take care of their crops but at the same time if we get a storm those canals overflow and there’s certain areas here in the city that are impacted.
This year they’re fighting two battles, coronavirus and flooding.
“Manpower is always good to have and when you don’t have it, it’s like a perfect storm. A storm that’s going to come in overnight and we have the storm that just don’t want to leave which is coronavirus.” He said.
Some of the canals and drains in the city are prone to overflow. City workers would normally be on top of things, this year is challenging.
“At the beginning of the pandemic we lost some of our workforce for different reasons and we lost about 20% of the workforce,” he said.
Less staff means less people on the roads to ensure safety. Cruz says they’re making things work as storms approach this weekend.
“We set up a six-inch pump and we pump the water where its suppose to go the canal back there,” he said.
Residents have stepped up to help clear drains around the city but they’re still hoping for more.
Cruz said the city needs funding to address some of the infrastructure issues to can help prevent flooding.