Residents struggle with clean-up in Lower Valley

El Paso News

Two homeowners on Verde Circle say they are still not able to move into their homes after the canal behind their house overflowed last Tuesday.

The El Paso County Water Improvement for District #1 says eight homes were affected. Out of the eight homes, two of them are currently vacant. The families who live in those homes have been placed in a hotel.

Veronica Garcia is one of the homeowners whose family has been living in a hotel for a week and a half now.

Garcia says she and her family are tired of living in a hotel and just want to come back home. She says that although the water and mud have been cleaned up, their homes are not suitable for them to move back in.

“It’s sad because I know that we can’t be here. I know that we can’t stay and it’s just sad cause we want to come home already. This is our home. My kids grew up here,” Garcia said in tears.

Her next door neighbor Isela Quintero said she was still waiting for the insurance company to let her know when she and her family could move in again.

“We are still waiting for the adjusters to come and look at our home and let us know what’s really going to happen,” said Quintero, who has been living in her home on Verde Circle since she was eight-years-old.

The insurance adjusters showed up to survey the damage on August 10th. Both Garcia and Quintero say they will probably have to stay at the hotel for another week.

“I have nowhere to put anyone to sleep cause we would have to sleep on the floor. We have no beds,” says Garcia.

She also says she does not want to bring her family into the house because of the musty smell the dirty canal water left behind.

A spokesperson for El Paso County Water Improvement says the clean-up has been done and that the claim adjusters were out in the neighborhood visiting with residents.

They say they have excavated the yards in some of the homes and are also planning on scraping sidewalks and adding screens to the houses where fences were torn down.

Garcia says she worries that the rock wall that was taken down in her backyard allows people who walk along the canal easy access into her backyard. She especially worries that her home will be flooded again once it rains. 

Both neighbors say that their homes received  the most damage out of the eight homes that were affected. Almost all of their furniture and clothes were lost as a result of the canal overflow.

The families say El Paso County Water Improvement was very helpful in helping them clean-up the water damage in their homes.

They say they are hopeful city representatives will work towards a permanent solution to this issue.

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