City begins tearing down Onion Creek homes

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than six months after floodwaters swallowed the Onion Creek neighborhood, heavy machinery helped bring down several homes on Wednesday.

The homes were among the first houses bought out and torn down since the flood. City leaders believe it is too dangerous to live in an area that can flood so easily.

While the debris of the demolished homes may look like an eyesore to outsiders, it signifies a new chapter for the neighborhood.

“Yeah, it is a little bittersweet,” said Onion Creek resident Nicholas Arriaga.

Soon, Arriaga’s home will only exist in his memories. His house was one of those bought by the city.

“Neighborhood looks abandoned,” he said. “There’s nothing over there, its crazy, it’s shocking.”

Three homes on Ladybug Street were the first demolished. The city eventually plans to raze 72 homes here it currently owns. The city hopes to buy up an additional 44 houses and tear those down too.

“Before you knew it water started coming in through garage door and behind the washing machine and through the front door,” Arriaga said as he remembered the moment waters came rushing in. “And we said just leave it, it can all be replaced.”

While memories are still painful, he remains hopeful for the future.

“It should be cool place to come back and say, ‘I used to live there. My house used to be there.’”

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