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      Hidalgo County drainage gets boost under Garcia

      Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia

      Improving drainage is moving to the top of the list of things to do in Hidalgo County.

      "Ahhh...the only bad part about it is it's flooded, and it's starting to smell," said Raul Leal, whose property was flooded by Hurricane Alex.

      Another Hidalgo County flooding victim, Hermila Guerra, agreed.

      "We need help," she said after Hurricane Alex hit the Rio Grande Valley this past summer.

      Newly sworn-in Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said he's making it his top priority to prevent some of that flooding.

      "In my mind, that's the number one issue in the county," said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia.

      Judge Garcia said his main priority is to address flooding issues in Hidalgo County.

      He said the first phase during this term would be to implement the a drain canal that would help prevent flooding in the delta area, which includes the Edcouch-Elsa La Villa area.

      "We've got the levees to the South, but we don't have any main canal to the north," said Garcia.

      That's where Judge Garcia said a main drain canal will be built.

      "We need to start addressing and by the Raymondville drain it will help eliminate the flooding that occurs in that area however the water that will flow into that drain will come from throughout the county," Garcia said.

      Garcia said for example, any water that falls in the Edinburg area will go in that canal and go towards the Laguna Madre.

      There's also plans to construct laterals where water from other areas in the county can travel to the main canal and be drained in the Laguna Madre.

      "But we'll have to do it in steps because it's such a big ticket item we do not want to burden our tax payers," said Judge Garcia.

      Instead, Judge Garcia said the county will look at the budget, take care of what they're responsible for and make sure they can afford that before taking on this project.

      But the judge said he's confident by taking this project step by step, the county can begin that drain canal phase by the latter part of the year.