West El Paso neighborhood prone to flooding has no drainage system

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — When walking up to Gonzalo Sarabia’s home located off of Doniphan Drive, you will see piles of carpet outside his front door.

That carpet damaged from water as the entire house flooded on Monday. There is still standing water in his den and KTSM 9 News crews used a tape measure to see how high the water damage to his furniture was. The damage measured 5.5 inches high.

“I just try doing my best to clean up,” said Gonzalo Sarabia. “I went to Home Depot to get that water pump and started getting it pumped out.”

Family members help pull out carpet from Gonzalo Sarabia’s home

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a flood waning as more rain was expected to come down again Wednesday evening. Sarabia said he was trying to prepare the best he can.

“Right now I’m going to go get some sandbags and try and do a little bit of preventative measures there,” he said.

El Paso Water says the neighborhood is prone to flooding but doesn’t have a drainage system.

“The neighborhood itself doesn’t have any drainage systems in place — it wasn’t built that way — Doniphan does,” said Alan Shubert, Vice President of Operations for El Paso Water.

KTSM asked Shubert why a drainage system has not been put in place. He said that it’s costly and that they are working with the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation, BNSF Railway and the irrigation district to make those changes.

“We coordinate with them the best we can, but we can’t just wave a magic wand and make this go away — it’s going to take years and decades,” said Shubert.

The neighborhood is in District Eight, which is represented by Cissy Lizarraga. She made her way to the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. Her office told KTSM that the Office of Emergency Management is working with the Red Cross to provide shelter for residents dealing with flooding.

A spokesperson for the City of El Paso said residents who need Red Cross support can call (915) 592-0208.

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