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Brownsville Resident Worries Future Storms Could Cause Flood

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BROWNSVILLE – Hurricane Harvey missed the Rio Grande Valley, but some residents are learning from the damage to the north.

Brownsville resident Yolanda Medina told CHANNEL 5 NEWS it wouldn't take a powerful hurricane to flood their homes. She said the street she lives on, Vermont Circle, floods easily.

"The water goes all the way into the driveway," Medina said. "That's why I can't even park here. I have to park down the street."

She's hoping county commissioners will take this time to take a closer look at what's causing the flooding problems in this area. She said regular thunderstorms cause flooding even filling up the septic tanks, causing them to spill over.

"The road fills up with water, the septic tanks fill up with water and when we're taking a shower, the dirty water comes up through there," she explained.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS took these concerns to Cameron County Commissioner Sofia Benavides. She said crews are already looking into this issue.

Benavides said they discovered a major drainage pipe in the area was blocked.

"The original owner there dumped a lot of cement there and (other items). So, that may be the cause of this water not being able to run off,” she said.

The commissioner added the pipe is on private property. She said the county will have to get legal approval before they try to unblock it.

Even then, Benavides said finding the money to do the work is another hurdle.

"My problem is the funding with such a project. Two, we don't have the proper equipment to do it," she said.

For now, she's already had county crews clean out manholes in the area in case of rain.

Benavides said she’s also reached out to the city of Brownsville, and the county's irrigation and drainage districts for help in figuring out what the best solution could be.

Medina said she just hopes that comes before a storm floods her home again.

"There's been times that the water stays all night, and doesn't drain until the next day," Medina said. "That's why I'm always ready with my rain boots, so that I can get out."

Benavides is asking all county residents to keep their homes clear of brush and trash, as this year’s hurricane season runs through November 30.

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