Los Fresnos Outlines Solutions to Rain Problems

City Manager Mark Milum talks about areas more prone to flood in Los Fresnos. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Cameron County Drainage District No. 1 and No. 6. The Texas Department of Transportation. Unclean and littered ditches. Lack of detention ponds. Poor planning.

Those were some of the culprits directly or indirectly responsible for the widespread flooding that left more than 20 homes and about 20 vehicles stalled in the city after last month’s torrential rains that dumped close to 20 inches of precipitation during a four-day period.

Mark Milum, the city’s manager, gave a detailed report of the possible causes and proposed solutions of the situation during last Tuesdays meeting of Los Fresnos City Council.

He said the drainage district gets money from the taxpayers but he added that a lot of the problem with flooding could be fixed if the entity would take care of some things.

“There are ditches that have never been cleaned and there isn’t much we could do because they do not belong to the city,” he said. “There is no way to completely stop a flood but there are some ways to lessen the problem.”

Milum said city streets are made to handle drain water but he is concerned about water going into homes.

After talking about the problems for a while, Milum stated a list of solutions which he said are doable but it will take some time and money.

They include improving the south east section of the city where the drainage district has pipes, ditches and a blown out bridge.

Valley Alto, Henderson Lane, North Canal, Jacquelyn, and Evergreen streets and Highway 100 could be in better condition to withstand flood by moving drainage north of Whipple Road to under a railroad crossing on the north side toward Arroyo Boulevard; by cleaning ditches and a detention area run by CCDD No. 1 Nogal and Third streets and the city’s community could benefit by increasing ditch capacity downstream.

Others areas where flooding is an issue include from Los Fresnos Elementary to Tapia’s Restaurant, the crossing at California, Henderson Lane, Pasto Drive and North Arroyo Boulevard.

Milum said city residents pay taxes to the irrigation district, yet the entity is not doing what it’s supposed to do.

He said taxpayers pay 3 cents per every $100 of valuation so a $100,000 home pays $30.

Milum recommend to increase the tax rate by 3 more cents to regenerate more revenues.

Manuel Abrego, a concerned citizen, said he toured some of the ditches around town and saw all kinds of stuff in the canal, including palm trees growing in there.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all city staff, police and EMS for the work they did in handling the flooding,” he said. “We need to address the situation now before it gets worse. The hurricane season is here.”

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One Response to Los Fresnos Outlines Solutions to Rain Problems

  1. Leopoldo Saldivar

    Good Morning Mr. Milum, regarding recent rain and flooding. In light of the recent flooding, I haven’t seen anyone working on drainage systems, or ditches. I live off FM 1575, on Blue Jay Cr. Street. Residents need to clean their own ditches, and keep debris away from the flow of water. I would really appreciate any help sent from your department, Thank you.

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