Socorro residents angry after flood damage
POSTED: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 5:29pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 1:10pm
Residents angry, feel ignored, as mud-filled homes left to dry out
EL PASO (KTSM) — Some Socorro residents are angry, saying no one has gone out to their home to help with all the flood damage from last week's heavy rains.
On Monday, NewsChannel 9 talked with a few residents who said their homes are no longer livable and one Lower Valley resident said she's not only lost her home, but all hope as well.
"My nephews broke the window so that we would be able to escape and that was the way I was able to exit the house," said Socorro resident Gerarda Lopez.
Lopez recounts the terrifying moment when her house was rapidly filling with muddy water, and she couldn't even reach the front door.
"I can't go back home, I have two grandsons and it's a huge responsibility that I carry," said Lopez.
She's not alone as several other residents around Socorro said their experience has been just as frightful and so far, no one has done anything to help.
"They just gave me the runaround... Basically let me take down your name and that's it.. Basically we are all alone," said Leticia Duran, Socorro Resident.
Some residents led NewsChannel 9 through their devastated homes, showing us the damage and debris left after the flood.
Executive Director of the Red Cross Mark Matthys said they are ready to help anyone.
"Our case workers are meeting with each family to look at the extent of the damages they suffered and we are going to prioritize. Let us know that someone hasn't been out there to see you yet and we'll make sure we get someone there," said Matthys.
The Red Cross will keep their doors open until Friday supplying people with cots, meals and comfort items. As we've reported the Red Cross did set up shelters earlier last week and were supposed to close this morning, but have now said they will remain open until Friday.
Matthys also advices to check out these pointers when returning to your flooded home:
• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
• Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater
• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
• Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula!
If you would like to help out those in need or would like to volunteer at the Red Cross you can visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.