After the Storm
- Socorro City Council approves infrastructure improvements
- KFOX Cares raises several hundred dollars for flood victims
- Ways You Can Help
- Disaster Hotline Available for N.M.
- EPWU keeps working on storm water master plan
- Weeks after storm, many in New Mexico still faced with cleanup
- Families rebuilding in San Elizario after floods
- Socorro residents help KFOX14
- State agencies tour flood-damaged Socorro
- Bugs invade the Borderland
- Letter from county officials sent to governor asking for assistance
- Dona Ana County holds emergency meeting in Berino after floods tear through
- Berino left with massive cleanup after floodwaters tear through
- Bulldogs rally to help family who lost home to mud
- Socorro prioritizing cleanup of flood damage, sinkholes
- Update: Berino residents deal with more floods
- Socorro City Council approves disaster declaration following flood
- Gov. set to visit La Union to assess flood damage
- Recent rains leave prime mosquito breeding grounds around Borderland
- E. coli and viruses in floodwater
- Floodwater spreading disease to pets
- Water safe to drink in La Union
- El Paso Water Utilities say stormwater projects performed well during storms
- La Union residents frustrated as no improvements planned for nearby dam
- El Paso Water Utilities working on I-10, central El Paso flooding issues
- Poverty, lack of infrastructure adds to severity of San Eli floods
- Floods topple grave sites at San Elizario cemetery
- Roofers busier than normal
- Dona Ana County commissioners agree they need state help
- Flood victims get help from a group of teens
- La Union residents, officials discuss flood damage recovery
- San Portales museum suffers damage after flooding
- Historic landmarks damaged from storms
- San Elizario families in need of help after floods
- Dam near La Union breaks, causes major road damage and disrupts water service
- Flood cleanup a slow process in San Elizario
- Socorro continues flood cleanup, hopes to prevent future damage
- Floods force San Eli families from homes
- Northeast flooding leads to road closures, stranded motorists
- West El Paso sees flooding on residential roads, residents concerned about drain maintenance
- La Union residents without water as officials fix water system
- San Elizario residents deal with damage from massive flooding
- Massive Socorro sinkholes destroy back yard, threaten homes
- Socorro flooding leaves Coker Road residents with cleanup
- Socorro mayor says they need National Guard help
- San Elizario cancels after school-activities
- Sinkhole growing larger in Socorro
- Socorro residents trapped in homes after arroyo breaks
- Arroyo breaks causing major flooding in Socorro
- Borderland braces for another round of heavy rain
- Vado residents suffer severe flooding for third time in several weeks
- Heavy rain leaves big mess central El Paso resident
- More work to be done on stormwater system after I-10 floods Wednesday morning
- Rain causes ceiling collapses in area shelter, apartment complex
- Crews repair water dam leak in central
- Rain causes overflow of Stormwater Pond in central El Paso
- Sinkhole closes Luna Street in Central El Paso
EPWU keeps working on storm water master plan
Updated: Wednesday, October 9 2013, 10:29 PM MDT
BY: GENEVIEVE CURTIS
EL PASO: TX-- El Paso Water Utilities continues trying to protect the city from massive flooding especially in the central area where September's flash floods shut down a stretch of Interstate 10 in central El Paso.
"It is frustrating, it's frustrating for us," said John Balliew, president of El Paso Water Utilities, tasked with the challenge of overseeing storm water infrastructure and preventing the city from going underwater, so to speak.
When the Borderland gets slammed by storms, shutting down the freeway, the rushing water is very visible. But the design to deter the floods is happening behind the scenes.
Still, it's a game of catch up for EPWU, challenged to add infrastructure to an already developed city.
"These are mistakes that were made not last year, not 10 years ago, these are mistakes that were made 50 and 100 years ago where the infrastructure wasn't put in then and we are trying to catch up," said Balliew.
The central area remains the Achilles' heel of the overall master plan.
"That area is completely developed so anything we do we have to acquire a bunch of little pieces of real estate and piece it together. So it's taking us time. It's not like it's not our top priority, it is. It is just taken us a long time to get where we are," said Balliew.
Balliew said that those from whom they have to buy property are not willing sellers.
Wednesday, the PSB approved a nearly $800,000 contract to begin construction on one of the ponding areas in central, designed to catch the water before it arrives at the interstate.
Its part of the larger system, which when completed, will be able to withstand a 100-year storm.
But the projects don't come cheap.
One new pumping station alone costs $30 million and Balliew says they need at least three more.
Now the conversation has turned to possibly upping storm water fees.
At the current rate, EPWU only has a certain amount annually to fund the multimillion-dollar projects.
"You have $2.5 million a year income to build things with it doesn't go that far when you're talking about these big capital projects," said Balliew.
Balliew said EPWU shares in the community's frustration.
"It is frustrating, it's frustrating for us but I think the key message here, is we are working in a completely developed area," said Balliew.
But in a few years, the goal is to be able to keep the Borderland dry, despite Mother Nature's plans.
A new pumping station south of the freeway should be completed in the next two to three years and the new pond approved on Wednesday should be finished by May 2014.