South Nogal Street Residents Lack Most Basic Utilities

A tank is used to collect rain water for one of the street residents. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

People living within the city limits of Los Fresnos have utility services just like anyone else has in any U.S. city in today’s modern day and age.

And for the residents of Nogales Street, there is no difference.

Except for those living or having a business operation on the southern part the same street that falls within the jurisdiction of Cameron County.

In fact, the nearly dozen homes there lack the most basic necessities most city dwellers have.

They have no potable water and no electricity even though that part of Nogales Street starts less than a block from where a utility pole stands.

Residents there have to haul empty 55 gallons barrels to get city water which they store for so many days for showering, washing dishes and for a few other things.

Antonio Lopez, who lives with a family of four, said they have been on South Nogales Street for the last five years.

“We have been buying bottled water to drink ever since,” he said. “For other things, we bring city water twice a week.”

For electricity, Lopez said they run a generator for several hours before they shut it off.

For cold days and nights, he said they stay with relatives.

Roberto Valdez said he works for a person who has a large lot and a mobile home for a trucking operation.

“There has been no water or electricity since I have been here,” he said. “We brought this trailer to open an office a few years ago, but we did not because of the lack of utilities.”

Valdez said he knows they are outside the city limits but pointed out at a utility pole a stone’s throw from their place.

He said the place stays empty at night time.

Valdez said the next door neighbor collects rain water in a larger tank by the house.

The situation of those living along South Nogales Street is so precarious that the city council has started looking into it.

During a recent meeting, it was approved to apply for a grant to bring services there.

When City Manager Mark Milum mentioned what people have to do to have potable water, a councilman expressed disbelief.

“How can that happen here?” the council man said. “This is the United States of America!”

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