Decades old drainage system could continue causing problems for Hidalgo County

In the 30 years Ernesto and Marcella Garcia have lived on Harvey Street in McAllen"they told Action 4 news it never flooded.

"This is not a flood area...this is the first time we've ever had it like this," Marcella said.

But that all changed last Thursday when heavy rain and hail pounded the city of McAllen.

According to the insurance council the damage is estimated to be in the millions for homes and businesses.

"We just took it as it came"that's all. I mean what could you do?"

With hurricane season just 60 days away the drainage systems in Hidalgo County have come under fire.

Officials told Action 4 News the current system in place is not designed or built to handle the amount of water that came down during Thursday TMs storm.

"It was a major test, Hidalgo County Drainage District Manager, Godfrey Garza started. We had some systems that were over capacity, some that were over 50 percent, and others that had no water. The areas coming out of the urbanized sections had a tremendous amount of water and over loaded our system. Causing significant damage to the system"

Garza said part of a control structure, that helps to regulate how much water goes into specific areas, was damaged last week.

He said the damage leaves both Willacy and Hidalgo County vulnerable if another big rain heads this way.

"We are concerned that we now have saturated areas, so if we continue having rain then we'll have more runoff then the ground can take."

An emergency declaration was signed so the county can get the structure repaired as soon as possible.