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COVID-19 impacting flood preparedness

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EDCOUCH, Texas — Right now, cities across the valley are preparing for hurricane season.

However, the pandemic is impacting their preparedness.

“It was devastation for us back in June,” said Victor De La Cruz, Edcourch City Manager.

It was last year when heavy rain flooded homes and streets.

“During all this time, we’ve been working on maintaining our flood ways,” he said.

Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has delay city’s efforts.

“We are down to half of the staff force that can manage that type of work. Not only the city but also the county,” he said.

While everyone is concentrating on the pandemic, city leaders still worry about the next big rain fall.

“We’ve already had a couple of scares in the past two weeks during the pandemic and the question is, are we going to bring in sand. That’s probably our biggest assets are sand at this point, the sandbags. Normally, I have a full staff of people filling up the sandbags this time around we didn’t.” he said.

Other cities across the valley share the same concern. In Elsa, the pandemic is putting a strain on the city.

“We’re working with less guys still trying to upkeep,” Said city manager JJ Ybarra.

With the pandemic is forcing cities to think ahead to who’s most impacted.

“We have a large population of elderly so we chose to start off in those areas,” said De La Cruz.

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