Advocates hope new study detailing flooding damage to colonias brings change

A study released by Halff Associates Wednesday detailed how colonias in the Rio Grande Valley are greatly affected by flooding. Advocates now hope something will be done before it’s too late.

Within the last 2 years, the group spoke to colonia residents across the valley and found solutions for 78 of the most flood-prone areas -- most of which are in Hidalgo County.

"We now have a report that is defendable, that we can provide for grant money and show them that there are solutions for the issues that they have. Now go apply for grant money and get these improvements installed,” said Halff Associates Senior Project Manager Raul Garcia.

Advocates with La Union Del Pueblo Entero, A Resource in Serving Equality, and the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service now plan on sharing the results with colonia residents, but they say this is just the beginning.

“How are we gonna make it happen so that this study can be input into practice and help the commissioners? Help the drainage district to really be focused on what is it that needs to be done in the Rio Grande Valley," said LUPE Coordinator Martha Sanchez.

Phase 1B of the study showed that more than 10,000 households have standing water lingering for days after it rains. Colonia resident Martha Rosales hopes the study will finally bring the changes she says will help countless families.

"Sometimes for us, because of where we are, they don’t hear us or can’t come and see but for those in charge, pay attention to the needs of the community,” she said.

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