Mold challenges some Halloween flood survivors in Austin

The backyard of a home neighbors say is growing mold and not being cleaned. (Kevin Schwaller)
The backyard of a home neighbors say is growing mold and not being cleaned. (Kevin Schwaller)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin family is worried danger may be growing next door — in the form of mold.

By now, many homeowners have torn down drywall or cleaned up hazardous spots. However, some homes are resting largely untouched.

“So the past few days that it’s gotten warmer and the breeze, you smell — it’s almost like death — so it’s rot,” said Lydia Huerta, who lives in the Onion Creek neighborhood.

The smell drifts from a home a few steps away from Huerta’s house.

“I have a daughter with asthma. I’ve never experienced allergies, but I’ve had something for probably a month and a half,” Huerta said.

Huerta is concerned about the mold growing at her neighbor’s home and other homes that are not being cleaned up.

Homeowners can call 311 with concerns about homes that may be dangerous or are in disrepair. Huerta says she has called.

Members of Austin Code Compliance say they are still actively working in the area hit by the Halloween floods. They are also investigating homes in the neighborhoods, but making the repairs is the responsibility of homeowners.

“At first, when we started cleaning up, there was a mold issue,” said Myron Tucker, who also lives in the Onion Creek neighborhood. “We had mold in tile, little things.”

Crews in Tucker’s home had to remove dry wall nearly to the ceiling to make sure mold didn’t grow here. Many families took similar steps — just not all homeowners.

“I’m hoping that [government leaders] can put some pressure on the homeowners to come clean up. Or get some volunteers in there to clean up,” Huerta said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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