Heavy rain and flooding on the 8th anniversary of the 2006 storms

Heavy rain and flooding on the 8th anniversary of the 2006 storms
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 10:35pm

It's an uncomfortable sight most El Pasoans would rather not remember.

Storm 2006 devastated the Borderland, destroyed property, and put the public in harm's way.

"It was crazy, I remember on the West side, the Blockbuster having its roof collapse," said Reese Kaplan.

"Well over $200 million in damage. Some estimate almost as much as $400 million," said John Fausett with the National Weather Service.

Eight years later to the day, a similar set of storms lurked in the area.

"It's eerie that we have this scenario on the anniversary," said Fausett.

But according to the National Weather Service, it's nothing strong enough to compare to 2006.

"You might want to compare it a little more to last September. That had a lot of people thinking 2006," said Fausett.

"Storm water and flood control is a never ending story. I tell people there's always a bigger flood coming," said Alan Schubert, the Vice President of the El Paso Water Utilities.

Schubert said Storm 2006 taught El Paso important lessons about flood control.

EPWU said they've since invested millions of dollars in more storm ponds and pump stations.

But even so, EPWU said there's one part of town in particular that will still flood - Central El Paso.

"It's such a densely populated area with so little real estate that we didn't have any land to work with," said Schubert.

Last September, several reservoirs and storm ponds near I-10 and Piedras overflowed, sending water onto the Interstate, that officials eventually shut down.

"That's the biggest, single problem that we have and had from the start," Schubert.

"Last year, a couple years back, we've had a couple problems, we got prepared ahead of time," said Shoshana Aranda, from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber set up sandbags well in advance of the rains because they said this year, they weren't going to take any chances.          

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