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El Paso City Council seeks regular updates on storm water system in wake of flooding

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso City Council is taking steps to monitor how storm water systems are operating in El Paso. On Monday in a unanimous vote, it approved a measure directing El Paso Water and the Public Service Board to give quarterly updates to council.

City Rep. Alexandria Anello invited her constituents to speak at the council meeting, urging them to share their experience.

"I thought for sure that we were about to watch a woman die. She was already stuck and unable to get out of her car, when a second car came by floating by slamming into her and another vehicle," one resident said.

The approved measure said the Public Service Board will provide quarterly updates to City Council on the status of water, waste water and storm water. It said the utility is encouraged to provide additional integratio, and in coordination with the City of El Paso, strategic planning and operation activities.

One resident in central El Paso said his biggest concern is further loss of life after a 65-year-old grandmother and her 2-year-old granddaughter died after a wall in their living room caved in during the storm last Thursday night.

"It just moves so fast and freely that it can submerge cars up to their windshields and throw them around like toys. Once in the water ,the occupants are unreachable and these rapids have come not once in a blue moon - but each time it has stormed this summer to varying degrees, which should highlight that there is something terribly wrong from a design standpoint," Jack Loveridge said.

A resident who lives at the top of the mountain saw first hand the power of the rain last Thursday, with her front yard now almost unrecognizable through the rubble.

"It's just so sad that you spend so much time and money on your home just for it to get destroyed through something I feel was preventable, this feels like negligence," Hortencia Tibuni said.

Tinbuni has lived on her property for the past 19 years with a dam that runs parallel to it. She told ABC-7 that since 2006, the dam has continued to accumulate debris - in essence lowering it's capacity. The dam gave way last Thursday, destroying portions of her property and sending gallons of water to the streets below.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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JC Navarrete

El Paso native JC Navarrete co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend newscasts and reports during the week.


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