County, city of Socorro working to help Coker Road neighbors recover from second

Socorro mayor pro tem Rene Rodriguez was out late Monday night telling residents to evacuated after flooding posed danger to those living on Coker Road. (CBS4/KFOX14)

It has been a long 24 hours for Socorro neighbors living on Coker Road.

Our news crew watched late Monday night as water came rushing down into the neighborhood. On Tuesday evening, the neighbors were cleaning up the damage and waiting for a permanent solution to the flooding problem.

The City of Socorro said the evacuation Monday night wasn't mandatory, but most Coker Road neighbors slept at the shelter. Neighbors returned to their homes around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"Another evacuation means chaos, panic," said Guadalupe Avalos, who has lived on Coker Road since she was 4 months old. "We had to vacate the house very quickly. I think my 2-year-old was in shock."

Avalos said the damage wasn't nearly as bad this time. She credits the city's quick response and the new berm the city built about two weeks ago to redirect water away from homes.

"I think our neighborhood would have been lost had it not been for that berm," Ávalos said. "We have a feeling that this year has been so severe as far as the amount of water coming in that that's the only thing saving us."

Avalos said well the temporary solutions provided by the city and county have been incredible, it's time to start thinking long term.

"We have come to the realization myself in particular that we need to leave. I don't want to leave. This is our home," Avalos worried.

She said for most of these families, the mortgages are already paid and moving would be too expensive without the city's help.

"As much as I don't like the idea of leaving, I know it's a safety hazard for all of us. And it's not fair to put the kids through this over and over again," Avalos said.

She also said these properties will be hard to sell with all of the problems.

"Nobody's going to buy this land! We can put it up for sale and I guarantee you nobody is going to pay nowhere near what it's worth. Probably worth less now because of the flooding," Avalos said Avalos.

The County's Community Services Department came out this afternoon to deliver 25 hot meals for the evacuated families. It also assessed the social service needs of the families and is offering temporary rental assistance available through HUDHousing and Urban Development funds for those that are willing and can qualify. The department said it will pay the current month's electric utility as a way to defer this cost for the families so that they can apply this savings to other urgent needs.

It also gave $100 clothing gift cards for school aged children from the Child Welfare Program.

CBS4 asked County Judge Veronica Escobar if the county has reached the $3-million million threshold yet that would allow it to call in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She said she will find out for sure on Wednesday, but she does not think it has even reached $1 million yet.

The city and county are meeting on Thursday with the water districts to come up with a long-term plan.

CBS4 has had a lot of viewers asking how they can help. The city said people dropped off a lot of items for the neighbors that were delivered Monday. The city said for now, the neighbors are good on donations.

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