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      Flooding fears subside after overgrown drainage ditch cleared

      The heavy machinery is in.

      The flood-blocking brush is out.

      "We got it done," Bob Asbridge said. "It looks great."

      Bob's fears are over after TxDOT wraps up maintenance on a drainage ditch near his Harlingen home.

      "These people here could have lost their homes again because during Dolly they got flooded," he said. They had mold and everything in their house."

      Action 4 News showed what the area looked like in June.

      Some called it a jungle, others a dump.

      TxDOT admitted to not maintaining the ditch for nearly a decade.

      The state only identified it as a problem after Dolly in 2008, but environmental red tape stalled any efforts to do work.

      That is until the story aired with Bob on Action 4 News.

      "Thank goodness we got this done," he said.

      Pete Alvarez, TxDOT's director of maintenance, says his department will be mowing the ditch on yearly basis.

      He adds how larger vegetation will be removed with heavy machinery every 2 to 3 years.

      Cameron County TMs Emergency Manager, Humberto Barrera, is happy to see the work done.

      Tragedy is averted," he said.

      He sees the results of this call 4 action as a win for everyone, since the Rio Grande Valley dodged a hurricane in 2012.

      This is something that's going to keep water out of people's yards and hurricane season is just 6 months away," he said.

      Bob TMs glad he made the call to Action 4 News.

      4 is number 1, he said.

      The landscape is forever changed to prevent future flooding.

      This is the latest drainage related project that has been undertaken in Cameron County by TxDOT.

      Other drainage projects (FM 800, FM 2556, FM 733, FM 506 and US 281 Military) projects were identified, prioritized and completed as a direct result of Hurricane Dolly, according to Alvarez.

      He says the current project consists of five locations within Cameron and Hidalgo Counties.

      The ditch locations include: Lewis Lane, "M" Street, and Arroyo Colorado (FM 506) in Cameron County and also the Starr/Hidalgo County Line and Penitas (23rd St) ditches in Hidalgo County.

      The total project cost is estimated at $100,000.

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