El Paso

While Socorro city officials study ongoing flooding, residents hit again by river of high water

While Socorro city officials study...

EL PASO, Texas - Two days after Socorro City Council decided to study the ongoing, devastating flooding along Coker Road, the area was hit hard by flooding again.

Guadalupe Avalos lives along Coker Road between the Horizon City and San Elizario exits of I-10. She and her children watched the high water raced through their neighborhood.

"We are all terrified by the rain. We look at our phone, the weather apps every day," Avalos said. "Lots of concerns obviously. It's a safety concern being out here. You've got the kids we have to evacuate every time this happens."

Rick Avalos was at Monday's City Council meeting. He was disappointed that he and his neighbors will have to wait even longer for help.

"Disappointed. Betrayed. There's a lot of anger and frustration," Rick Avalos said.

Avalos and other residents have been desperately asking authorities for help after their neighborhood has been devastated by floods time and time again.

"Tired. My mom is tired. The kids are scared. So, a lot of different emotions," Guadalupe Avalos said.

Monday night, the Socorro City Council asked the staff to assess the value of the damaged homes so it can consider solutions.

"We are looking at property values," Mayor Pro Tem Rene Diaz told ABC-7 after the meeting. Among the options available, eminent domain and condemnation.

"This has been happening for 11 years," Rick Avalos said, blaming construction and development north of I-10. "This wasn't a flood zone. It was (made) a flood zone."

It is an ongoing emotional and financial struggle for families.

"The cleanup afterwards. We never know if it backs up into the house. We have to wait for it to finish flowing downhill and then we will be able to go in and see if there is any damage to the houses," Guadalupe Avalos said.

Diaz says he feels for residents.

"They're frustrated because this has happened since the 2000s, but you know, it's hard to say, and disheartening to see them go through these struggles," he said. "As more developments occur, more runoff comes in and they're in harm's way, so we have to help them, in a sense, to see what we're going to do so we have to evaluate their properties and go from there."

He says solving a problem of this magnitude, involving different governmental agencies and areas is complex.

"You can see that we've bought equipment, we've bought property, we've set policies and procedures. Unfortunately it's too great a disaster just for us on a $9 million budget."

A disaster Guadalupe Avalos is convinced has only one solution.

"It's not easy. We have been here 30-plus years. Mortgages are paid off, huge pieces of land. We are not going to find that anywhere else. But yeah,  there really is no other option besides moving and starting over again," she said.

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