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Hidalgo County colonia residents sign petition calling for better drainage systems

Hidalgo County colonia residents delivered a petition with 4,041 signatures to county commissioners on Tuesday, calling for improvements to drainage systems.

Hidalgo County colonia residents delivered a petition with 4,041 signatures to county commissioners calling for improvements to drainage systems.

"It’s a real issue and it’s not just showing that a couple hundred people are in need, it’s not,” said ARISE Community Organizer Laura Guerra. “A lot of people are in need and a lot of people care about this issue. It’s not something that we can just ignore and brush aside.”

Several colonia residents were present at a drainage district meeting's open forum on Tuesday, along with members of LUPE and ARISE. Both organizations say they've traveled to several colonias and met with residents, who all have the same problems and concerns.

"They can’t send their kids to school,” Guerra said. “The kids get embarrassed because they get to school with very muddy shoes. I mean, the water is just very high; people can’t go to their jobs.”

Colonia resident Maria Romero has dealt with the issue for close to 14 years.

“We all need a drainage system for the water to flow through for when our kids go to school," Romero said. "So, they can go to school and be ok, and not go wet."

Romero said the county recently paved the road outside her home at Colonia Iowa Gardens, but flooding still occurs when it rains.

Romero said at one point, a septic tank overflowed, and left her and neighbors to take their children to nearby stores to use the bathroom.

With the petition signed and delivered, residents must now wait and see what commissioners do next.

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