La Feria Irrigation District Working On Improvements To Solve Flood Problems


The houses along Lake Tio Cano continue to be underwater (Source KGBT)

It has been about three weeks since the recent storm hit the area and some homes are still underwater due to the flooding.

“All I can say, the lowland dwellers, is that they are in a reservoir,” said Al Martinez, director of the La Feria drainage district of the low lying areas near Lake Tio Cano.

It is a place that has hosted several families in the rural estates of La Feria and Santa Rosa for decades.

Many of these houses remain underwater.

“I can’t tell them what to do. I can only say that as an irrigation district we are doing everything we can, beyond that, to bring the lake back down as fast as possible, ”Martinez said.

Martinez says about seven and a half miles in circumference around the area falls into Lake Tio Cano.

At present, the district continues to pump inches of water 24 hours a day. But with the heavy load, it takes time for the water to clear up, even after a few upgrades.

In 2015, the town of La Feria made improvements to the drainage of the area known for flooding.

According to the city, they allocated about $ 19 million from the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Hazard Mitigation Program.

Martinez says of those funds, about $ 2 million was given to the Irrigation District to work on, while the rest went to contractors to complete the improvements.

“It was a huge project. Did it help? Yes of course that helped. Was that enough? Obviously you can see that was not enough, ”added Martinez.

He says it can take a total of 50 days to completely clean the water from Lake Tio Cano.

He added that a comprehensive plan will be able to spread new ideas to bring a better solution.

“Next time we have 15 inches of rain or better, it will be the same. There is no doubt that unless someone comes up with a great idea and has some very significant means to implement, it will happen again and again, ”he said.

Martinez has expressed interest in working with Cameron County to explain the issues and hopes to find a solution.

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