Resident Voicing Concern about Drainage System near Home

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SEBASTIAN – A Willacy County woman is concerned a new drainage system won’t keep her streets from flooding.

The new drainage ditch sits near Dorothy Rocha’s residence in Sebastian. She said the county placed the ditch next to her home a year ago.

She said she’s asking for reassurance from the county that the new drainage system is going to keep her home safe from flooding.

According to Rocha, she’s been dealing with flooding since she bought the house eight years ago. And she said to secure her family she’s taken the step of raising her house three feet from the ground to prevent any future flooding.

“We had to hire someone to come in and do it and they raised it up,” Rocha said.

She mentioned she doesn’t feel confident the new drainage system will work.

“With the recent rains that we had a couple of months ago, the road was still flooding,” she said.

Willacy County Pct. 4 Commissioner Eddie Gonzales represents Sebastian. He said the county will give residents 48 hours’ notice before a major storm and will likely evacuate them to San Antonio if need be.

He said the $2.5 million county drainage program has had it holdups since it started two years ago but is coming along fine.

“We had to plan with TxDOT and with the railroad. There are other entities, drainage district number one, they been very helpful in assisting the colonia in solving the drainage problem,” Gonzales said.

He said the drainage project is not completed.

“The drainage improvements, they are about 80 percent done. All we need is a couple laterals,” he said.

Gonzales said there always a concern about flooding for Rio Grande Valley residents. He added Sebastian is at risk because it is a low-lying area.


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