UPDATE: Flooding In The Lower Valley

Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 6:41pm

EL PASO - More than 30 homes were evacuated today after a breach in the Franklin Canal sent water gushing into the Lower Valley. Tonight the 22 people who lived in those homes are staying at Ascarate Elementary School.

Emergency crews are now in the process of trying to remove up to four feet of water from the homes. After that, the city will have to determine if the homes are safe enough for the people to return to.

John Concha, the Fire Department Spokesman, says neighbors noticed water flowing toward them around 10 this morning. We're told initial reports show a worker for the El Paso County Water Reclamation District was repairing a leak caused by a gopher when it overwhelmed him. That sent the water into the neighborhoods and left nearly two dozen people scrambling to save their belongings. .

"It started coming in little by little so we tried putting sandbags. I left to get more sandbags, by the time I got back we were not allowed to go in anymore. The water is completely inside each one of our homes. Everything's gone basically, in our homes," Belinda Ochoa said.

"All I could do was take my kids out, my wife out, as soon as I could, and we walked over here where it was dry," Antonio Martinez said.

Some people we spoke with said they lost everything in the flood, but they were happy no one was hurt. Those people are still asking for your help tonight.

"Extend your hand out there to all of us, because we're going to need it," Ochoa said.

NewsChannel 9 is in touch with emergency crews, and we will continue to update this story.

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