Socorro neighbors call on mayor, governor to activate National Guard for flood cleanup
For more than a week, Coker Road in Socorro has been hit with flooding. CBS4 has been in Socorro almost every day for the past eight days and our crews have watched as the neighborhood was pounded with water and runoff. Neighbors fear more damage in the future and are asking for help.
Rick Ávalos, whose family has lived on Coker Road for 40 years, said after almost 15 years of his neighborhood being ignored, city and county leaders are responding to CBS4’s coverage to create some change.
"The Water Improvement District has been out here twice in the arroyo cleaning the drainage ditch for us. Thank you, Mr. Chuy Reyes, for that. They were the first ones out here on the scene yesterday,” Avalos said. “Commissioner Vince Perez has been out here three times since the incident. The City of Socorro yesterday and City Manager Adriana Rodarte brought some machinery to help out. They found some deeds that belong to the county and the city and they were finally able to go back there."
On Saturday night, Mayor Elect Ivy Ávalos brought neighbors pizza and drinks. On Sunday, District 4 city council representative Yvonne Colon-Villalobos and District 1 representative Maria Reyes brought 65 pounds of dog food and volunteers with heavy equipment.
"I partnered up with people who told me they're always willing to work and help here in Socorro. El Paso Star Ready-Mix was that person who I needed today,” said Socoro District 4 Representative Yvonne Colon-Villalobos. "If that water comes down pretty hard, it might wash their home away, so (Star Ready-Mix) is here to create a barrier that will divert that water to the sides."
Ávalos said even with the help, the neighborhood is nowhere near as safe as it needs to be.
"The canal was far cleaner than it was last Saturday and that helps retain divert a lot of the water and move it down the canal drain. And then about an hour after it happened the WID came out and started cleaning,” Avalos said.
Avalos and other neighbors are asking the mayor pro tem, Rene Rodriguez, to ask Gov. Greg Abbott to activate the Texas National Guard.
“I would really, really ask him to see what he can do, try to get hold of the governor’s office via Mary Gonzalez and via Sen. José Rodriguez and see if they can get the National Guard down here,” Avalos said. "It is at a point now, I think you've seen it enough -- and we are going to get flooded again tonight -- where it's one emergency after another."
The Socorro city representatives ask anyone in the Borderland who has heavy equipment to volunteer. Volunteers can also bring food, water or dog food to help the neighbors.