Rain brings heartache to business owner, headache to neighbors

In Cameron County, a much anticipated rain came with heartache for one business owner and big headaches for some neighbors.

Three classic cars became victims of a roof collapse in downtown Harlingen.

"It's possible the roof collapsed due to water built up on it, said Captain John Renneker of the Harlingen Fire Department.

No one was hurt minus the heart of the classic car shop's owner Gary Cooley.

"It's just a shame it happened, said Cooley. I've been collecting these cars for 20 years, and something like this really upsets you."

Firefighters said the collapse in the roof measured around 40 feet by 25 feet.

They were most concerned with an air conditioning unit clinging to the collapse in the roof.

They did not want it to fall and hurt anyone.

A building inspector will determine when it's safe for Cooley to return inside. Cooley said he's unsure what comes next.

"I said I don't know what to do, said Cooley. What do I do?" Less than 10 miles west, neighbors in Mariposa Ranch knew just what to do.

"Put furniture up on bricks and move everything upstairs, said Juan Correa.

The low-lying area on White Ranch Road between Harlingen and La Feria is prone to flooding.

It has been for years.

"When rain comes, we have flood problems, said Cameron County Commissioner Precinct Four Dan Sanchez.

Sanchez said he got a water pump in place quick.

That came as a surprise to neighbors who are accustomed to waiting.

They got their act together a lot faster than in previous times, said Correa.

Still, people in the area are unhappy.

They want a permanent solution.

"I don't have a degree in engineering, and I don't have a degree in a lot of things, said Correa. I'm just an old school teacher, and what I think needs to be done is have some more drainage put in."

It's unclear just how many more floods the neighborhood will endure.

For some, for sale sings indicate the headaches may be too much to tolerate.

Commissioner Sanchez said state funding is expected to pay for more water pumps.

Exactly when that money will make it to Cameron County is uncertain.