Funding for Socorro Flooding Project approved; $34.5m to protect homes, businesses

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Thursday, officials with the Texas Water Development Board announced the approval of a new flood control program for the Socorro area totaling $34.5 million.

The project will protect people and property in and around Socorro, with the design and construction of a flood water detention basin at the lower end of Sparks Arroyo, just northeast of Socorro.

Currently, 578 houses, 52 commercial building, 28 bridges, and over 800 acres of agricultural land are threatened by flooding in the area.

“The area has flooded frequently, and people downstream have had to be rescued when heavy rains
send water and sediment through the area. The project will protect lives and property…People at the state and county level have worked cooperatively to get the project funded, and residents will be much safer when its completed.”

texas State Representative Mary González.

Official say the project will involve excavating 300 acre-feet of ground to hold flood water and sediment, and
building a 40-feet tall embankment. The excavated area and the embankment will hold flood waters and release them slowly to control flooding further downstream.

Gonzalez says the state is able to fund the project because in 2019 she and other legislators voted
to take $3.26 billion from the Rainy Day Fund, and devote it to paying for flood control projects.

When she voted, Gonzalez had this project specifically in mind.

“We have been looking for a solution to the flooding problem for almost a decade. Until now, the
problem has been that cost was simply too great for the county,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “When we
saw the opportunity to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay for these projects, we jumped at it. Soon,
the people of southeast El Paso County will see the benefits, too.”

Officials hope to close on the financing in May, and to have the design work completed by
August of 2023.

Construction should begin in December of 2023, and take about a year to complete

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