Heavy rain leaves big mess central El Paso resident

Updated: Monday, September 30 2013, 03:46 PM MDT
Heavy rain leaves big mess central El Paso resident  story image

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Many people in the Borderland woke up Wednesday morning to some big messes because of heavy rainstorms.

In central El Paso, one man's home doubles as a business.

Roberto Arriaga woke up Wednesday morning to water coming inside. He said he grabbed a broom and hurried out the door, trying to move the water away from his life's biggest investment

Luckily he caught the problem in time, but Arriaga said he's upset with the city.

"It seems that every time we get rain it gets flooded right here. Just a little bit of rain, it gets flooded. (The city) builds a reservoir right there and it's worthless," said Arriaga.

Arriaga said the drainage system put in by the city doesn't work. He's not the only person who's expressed that concern.

Jose Aguilera lives on East Missouri Street in central El Paso and this he work up to a swimming pool in his back yard.

"The water was up to my knee. I jumped in there to get my dogs out," said Aguilera.

Aguilera said he's never experienced anything like that until a few months ago, "ever since they built that drainage ditch back there."

El Paso Water Utilities officials said they built the drainage ditch to stop flooding. While they said this storm was too much for the ditch to handle, Aguilera claims the ditch isn't the true issue.

"They raised up the alley higher than my back yard is. Instead of the water running out and into the drainage ditch, it's staying in my yard," said Aguilera.

When EPWU built the drainage system, they also paved the alleyway behind Aguilera's home. Now the alley is about 3 inches higher than his back yard.

Aguilera said he tried calling his insurance company.

"They just told me you need to contact the city because the water's supposed to run off that way and obviously that's blocking it," said Aguilera.

City officials said they've never gotten any complaints from Aguilera or anyone else in that area.

They say they're going to look into the problem.

Heavy rain leaves big mess central El Paso resident
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Residents living in the county suffered the most damage when heavy rainfall hit the Borderland. Cleanup efforts are underway and your help is needed. KFOX14 and The Salvation Army are teaming up to rebuild what they've lost.

Supplies Needed:
Sheet Rock
Roofing Materials

Supplies can be dropped off at: 4300 E. Paisano

Donate Online: www.salvationarmyelpasotx.org
Call to Donate: 915-544-9811