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East El Paso water project could save residents money by getting rid of need for flood insurance

A water infrastructure project in East El Paso near Pico Norte Park could do more than just lessen the impact of severe floods. As a result of the project, the city has requested that FEMA consider removing 1100 homes in the area from flood zones. That would mean those homeowners wouldn’t have to pay flood insurance.

The project expands a pond in an area that saw major floods back in 2014. Alan Shubert, The Vice President of Operations and Technical Services at El Paso Water, says the project cost $1.9 million, and future phases could cost between $20 and $40 million.

“When we get big storms in this area of anywhere in El Paso, there is a tremendous amount of street flooding,” said Shubert. “The way it would work is that water would get very deep into these streets and eventually flow into the pond, but the pond was a little smaller and the pond would erode. We almost lost parts of Bywood (Drive) into the pond in 2014. So part of what we did on the project is armor that. We made the pond bigger so it would take some homes out of the flood plain.”

FEMA has 90 days to respond to the request.

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