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Mercedes Neighbors Living Near Emergency Dome Question Safety Effectiveness

4 years 2 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, October 04 2017 Oct 4, 2017 October 04, 2017 5:08 PM October 04, 2017 in News

MERCEDES – As a chance of rain remains in the forecast, one Rio Grande Valley neighborhood said their flooding problem could pose a higher risk because it’s impeding an emergency safe haven.

The dome-shaped storm shelter in Mercedes hasn’t played host to any major storms since it first opened its doors in 2016.

Neighbors living close by said the shelter could be useless or even a hazard if a storm does happen because the road to get there floods.

“It’s concerning, especially the elderly,” said Dalia Pena, a resident who lives nearby.

Pena and other neighbors who live near North Vermont Avenue and Armory Road in Mercedes told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the road to get to the emergency shelter doesn’t have enough drainage.

Velda Garcia took pictures of the flood waters on her cell phone as she went to pick up her grandson.

“Imagine a hurricane? Puerto Rico, Huston, Louisiana - we’re here in South Texas. Imagine what that would do to us!” she said.

Residents want to know what the city’s going to do about the problem.

The public works director for the city of Mercedes left his job a couple weeks ago, according to Mercedes interim city manager Sergio Zavala.

Still, Zavala said the city is looking into the problem. He added they’ve hired three engineering firms to look for a solution.

He said plans and a contract for the fix have yet to be submitted.

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