EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – El Pasoans reviewed proposed flood maps ahead of monsoon season, pointing out specific areas that are prone to flooding and in need of improvements.

“Every time it rains when we have a serious rain there is severe flooding in our area,” said Angelo Pokluda.

Pokluda lives in the Manhattan Heights Neighborhood. He shared a photo of firefighters rescuing a person from a car that was happening right in front of his home back in August of 2021.

2021 flooding courtesy Angelo Pokluda

“Our basements floods, our property suffers damage, again, we’ve had casualties, we’ve had death. It’s serious and it happens almost every time it rains, usually in august,” said Pokluda.

Another Manhattan Heights resident says she bought her first home in July of 2021, which ended up flooding that August.

Folks came to the flood map planning meeting in hopes of receiving information about improvements to flood infrastructure.

For me, I think safety is the most important thing. When I heard on the news that just a few blocks up our street, there was that woman and her granddaughter, that the living room wall collapsed on them and killed them in that flooding, that broke my heart and I was really mad about it, so I’m mostly concerned that this water isn’t going to hurt anyone else.

Christine Loveridge, El Paso resident

Adding that her home also had damage after the flooding last August and she did not have flood insurance.

“It’s our first home so we had no idea what to expect there wasn’t any record that this was in a flood zone or that there had been flooding in the past so we walked into it and didn’t really understand what we were getting into,” said Loveridge.

The Upper Rio Grande Flood Planning Group is working to publish the first regional flood plan that will be used to get federal funding for flood-improvement projects around El Paso.

Without the input of the public it’s going to be a lot harder for us to really understand what’s happening down on the ground our modals can indicate hey this area is very prone to flooding but unless members of the community tell us you know what you may want to extend or expand your flood risk area because this happened a few years back.

Omar Martinez, Chair, Upper Rio Grande Planning Group

Martinez saying this is the first time the state has gotten involved to fund flood related issues.

“Were using $1.7 million that were awarded to us from the Texas Water Development Board to fund this initiative and really make a difference,” said Martinez.

Adding that the flood mitigation and infrastructure could reduce flood risk in some areas making it so that El Pasoans flood insurance bills are lower.

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