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Socorro homes still devastated by flooding
By: Stacey Welsh
SOCORRO, Texas -- Ignacio Sierra said he is still dealing with the devastating effects of flooding about three months ago. He owns a ranch on Coker Road in Socorro, one of the hardest hit areas.
"Basically at the bottom of the ranch, those corrals aren't suitable for horses at the moment. It affects me greatly," Sierra said.
Sierra said his friends and family have been helping clear mud. He said he has not seen city crews improve conditions on Coker Road since a few weeks after the flood first hit.
"What we've been doing is just cleaning up all the dirt, the mud, the horse stables and inside the house," Sierra said.
Socorro City Council Member at Large Rene Rodriguez said the city currently has about 15 employees working to clean up flood damage on public property. However, Rodriguez said, by law, the city cannot clean up public property.
The city council could also approve buying about $300,000 worth of equipment to clean up flooding at its next meeting. That will include a water vacuum truck and a sandbag machine that could make up to 1,600 sandbags an hour.
"We were filling them as we go because we ran out so quick. It's not that we didn't have any; we didn't have any prepared," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also said the city had to declare eminent domain on Fray Olguin Road to make way for future construction of a storm drain there.
Rodriguez said the city is looking to hire new employees, including a public works director to make more progress.
Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz said El Paso County is helping families displaced by flooding find apartments to stay in in the meantime. In the long-run, Ruiz said grant money could help them pay for new homes in Socorro.