87th St. residents blame new intersection for increased flooding

Residents say the flooding wasn't an issue until about a year ago.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 7:26 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) - Curious things are happening on Carlos Samaniego’s property.

“When we were standing here, water was coming up to about three-quarters of the way,” Samaniego said, walking up his driveway. “That’s when I started panicking a little bit.”

His neighborhood in north Ector County off 87th street has a flooding problem.

“You know, in the seven years we’ve been here, that has not happened,” said Samaniego.

But it’s not rain that’s causing the flooding. In fact, residents say the area has started flooding even when it doesn’t rain. So, what’s causing 87th to turn into a river?

Residents say workers raised the elevation of the intersection for the traffic light installation at 87th and Andrews Hwy nearly a year ago. They believe drainage is channeled from that intersection into their neighborhood. Another resident said the recent widening of 87th has given the water less ground to absorb it.

Samaniego’s next-door neighbor, Edward Shelton, has lived in the same house for two decades. He’s never seen anything like what’s happened in the past year. The most recent storms on Sept. 14 were the closest water has ever gotten to coming into his home.

“Like, about a half-inch from coming under the front door,” Shelton said.

TxDOT says drainage was accounted for in the intersection project, but additional development in the area has increased water runoff in recent years. TxDOT is looking to commission a hydrology study to see if anything more can be done in TxDOT’s right of way to help with drainage in the area.

As for Samaniego, he and his neighbors eventually opened their gates, giving the water an outlet to flow through their yards into an alleyway.

But storms are inevitable, and for those living on 87th St., it also feels inevitable that the water will eventually make its way into their homes.

“Oh yes,” Samaniego said. “We’re worried about that.”