Family of elderly San Benito woman evacuated due to storm damage calling for drainage improvements

Local News

SAN BENITO, Texas (KVEO) — As hurricane season approaches, a San Benito family is asking the city to fix drainage problems near their property after Tuesday’s storm led to flooding.

The home belongs to 73-year-old Viola Vasquez, who is currently staying with her daughter until someone can fix the damage left from the recent storm. 

With her deteriorating health and the constant issues, the family fears it may be time for her to leave the home she has lived in for more than five decades. 

“We love San Benito,” Elvira Cortez, daughter of Vazquez, said. “This is where we grew up. This is where my mother grew up and we have a history in this lot.” 

Vasquez’ house off of Bowie St. floods year after year.

“It could just be a sprinkle,” Cortez said.  

Cortez said they’ve made multiple attempts to get the city to improve the drainage, to no avail.  

“It’s upsetting because my mother is a taxpayer — she’s never late on her taxes or anything — and nobody wants to hear us,” she said.  

The latest storm brought inches of water into her home. And apart from damaging appliances and other household items, it’s posing a hazard to her Vasquez’ safety. 

“She’s partially blind,” Cortez explained. “She’s got COPD and now we have mildew in here. It scares me to even leave her here alone.” 

We reached out to city officials to ask about any plans to work on the drainage in this area and the following response was provided:

The City of San Benito has been taking steps to minimize flooding in many neighborhoods. The City entered into an agreement with other Cameron County municipalities and is part of a study aimed at minimizing flooding issues. The house in question sits yards away from five storm drain inlets. Storm drains throughout the city were cleared before the rain event. However, the sheer volume of rainfall may have surpassed the capacity of the aging storm drain system in some of the neighborhoods.

The family said they have spoken with Mayor Rick Guerra and hope he will help find a solution.  

The home isn’t eligible for flood insurance and all repairs come out of pocket. 

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