By GAIGE DAVILA
Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited the Rio Grande Valley, surveying Hurricane Hanna’s damage after visiting Corpus Christi and surveying damage there. Outside, protestors from Hidalgo County asked for Abbott to do something about recurring flooding in their homes.
During the press conference, Abbott mentioned that he and other Rio Grande Valley political leaders discussed removing water from the area, but that they were “still looking for the right solutions,” he said.
“It is something we understand that we need to move toward quickly,” Abbott said, mentioning water removal projects in Houston post-Hurricane Harvey were still ongoing and similar projects in the Valley would likely take years to be completed.
Nathali Tovar, who was protesting Abbot’s presence outside the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Regional Headquarters in Weslaco, said that she experiences flooding every year where she lives and has for 20 years.
She lives by Mile 14 and Mile 6 West in Weslaco. After approaching the City of Weslaco about recurring flooding in their home, they told them they lived outside Weslaco’s city limits, Tovar said. She contacted Hidalgo County for assistance, including Hidalgo County Commissioner David Fuentes, but has not received a response, Tovar said.
The morning after Hurricane Hanna, Tovar said water began to rise and drain back into their home. The water reached waist level, Tovar said, and got into her home. In June, the same kind of flooding happened last year, Tovar said, during a particularly heavy rainstorm that affected several areas in the Rio Grande Valley.
Tovar and her family are staying elsewhere, unable to return to their home.
“They know where the problem is; I don’t see why they can’t send pipes to pump out the water,” Tovar said. “We always wait three or four days, even five.”
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the July 31 – Aug. 6, 2020 issue of the NEWS.