El Paso

Socorro community blames new development in Horizon City for flooding

Socorro flooding update

EL PASO, Texas - Families in Socorro are still digging themselves out after heavy flooding in the area over the weekend.

Those hit the hardest live along Coker Road, just South of Interstate 10 access roads and new development in Horizon City, which some residents point to as the reason for all the water.    

ABC-7 looked into the issue on Monday. The County told ABC-7 the area is outside their jurisdiction. The City of Socorro pointed out Coker Road is a private road, meaning they can't use public funds to remedy the situation.

"It is a City of Socorro problem, but we all need to work together," said County Commissioner Vince Perez, who represents the area. "As we see more development moving eastward and more folks living in Socorro, more folks living North of I-10, you're going to see an increase in these types of problems."

Some of the roads around Coker Road are starting erode as a result of flooding. ABC-7 found a huge hole along one road leading to Coker that continues to erode and could become a big problem for residents.

"It's going to get worse," Socorro resident Eddie Aguilar said. "You can see how it's starting to cave in."

Rick Avalos lives on Coker Road, where homes continue to flood year after year.

"What happened essentially was that when the subdivisions were built on the far East Side in Horizon, they needed a place to send that runoff water so that their neighborhoods would be safe," Avalos said. "Either through negligence or poor planning or both, they threw the water into an arroyo that ended up here."

Socorro Mayor Pro-Tem Rene Rodriguez pointed out Coker Road is private, although he's trying to find ways to help.

"Our hands are actually tied," Rodriguez told ABC-7. "The state doesn't allow us to use public funds or anything -- our machinery, equipment, laborers, any of it -- for private property."

Both Rodriguez and Perez still believe between the County, Socorro, Horizon City and the Water Improvement District, something can be done.

"We want to take responsibility and say, 'Hey, our constituents are in need, what can we do together?'" Rodriguez said.

Added Perez: "There has to be a collaborative effort between the County and all of the municipalities to figure out what type of infrastructure is needed to help mitigate these problems."

Rodriguez said the City of Socorro has received grants in the past to relocate residents from the Coker Road area, but only a few have taken them up on that.

Perez told ABC-7 the County now requires new developments to also build retention ponds on their land. One resident of the area told ABC-7 he thinks a retention pond along Interstate 10 would fix the problem.

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