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      Snakes, rats and flooding result from unkept drainage area in Brownsville

      Don't let the tall trees and lush-looking landscape outside Eva Bouchot's family home in Brownsville fool you into thinking it's a nature lover's paradise.

      "We get snakes and rats," Eva said.

      She also gets flooding.

      "The water's almost inside the house," Eva said.

      The scenery in her backyard is partially to blame for water that rises up to her backdoor at times.

      Eva says low brush, weeds and debris restricts water flow from two streets, Johnson and Hortencia, and clogs a storm drain located right in her family's backyard.

      Her parents have tried to get the City of Brownsville to keep up with the maintenance on it at the neighborhood along Johnson Street off Roosevelt near International Boulevard.

      "Attempts were ignored," Eva said.

      Action 4's Ryan Wolf contacted the city manager's office for help.

      Jeff Johnston, assistant city manager and emergency management coordinator, showed up at Eva's door within an hour.

      "It's really frustrating that we go every year to try and get something done for our street and nothing gets done," she told the city official.

      "Let's take a look," Jeff said.

      The face-to-face meeting gives Eva the opportunity to share her family's continued fears.

      "I've been living here for some 20 years and it's good for somebody to help us be a better place here," she said.

      Jeff immediately identified areas to help alleviate concerns.

      "Obviously we can work with this particular property owner in clearing out this area and making sure there is a good flow and the elevation improved so the water goes where it should," he said. "Then our project will then need to continue down the street."

      That's because the city needs better access to the drains.

      Property fencing from neighboring homes block the city drainage easement area.

      Two other storm drains are located nearby.

      Eva's home is the only one which doesn TMt restrict access to the city, according to Jeff.

      Their neighbor's fence sits at least 10 feet into the easement.

      "Was this a potential recipe for disaster if a tropical system hit?" Ryan asked.

      "I would say that there would definitely be concern for the property owner," Jeff responded.

      It's a concern she hopes will soon be over thanks to her Call 4 Action.

      "If it wasn't for Action 4 News we wouldn't have gotten any results here," Eva said.

      The city promised to have the brush cut, debris removed and drainage system cleared within a week.

      A city engineer will also be brought in to determine if the easement along Bouchot TMs backyard needs to be raised to prevent future flooding.

      All property owners in the area are expected to be notified via the mail about the easement access needed by the city to maintain proper drainage.

      Those who don TMt comply could face possible legal action.

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