SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Longtime neighbors of a San Marcos community believe new development made Memorial Weekend flooding even more devastating. Now, council is directing the city to hire an independent, qualified hydrologist to look at the drainage issues– to see if it did exacerbate the flood event.
Long before the flooding, neighbors opposed construction of The Woods complex, a 291-unit which will eventually house nearly 1,000 students. They signed petitions and attended meetings, begging city council to vote no on the issue. While parking and traffic were the original concerns, neighbors say possible flood impacts are icing on the cake.
“This is the third time we’ve had a flood, and this is the worst, the worst,” said Cesar Perez, who’s lived in the Blanco Garden community for nearly 40 years. “In the past, when this has happened, the water would go through Conway, Barbara drive and would go to San Marcos River.”
They say that didn’t happen Memorial Day weekend. Neighbors add that large dirt piles left on the street may have also blocked flood water from draining.
Cesar and his wife Amelia have been living in a hotel since the flooding, working day and night to get their home back in shape. They there are few residents on their street, due to the serious flooding.
“I never thought I’d have my house again, never was I going to have my house again,” said Amelia. “But the volunteers have come in and saved us.” She says Samaritan Plus, Operation Blessing and the Red Cross were just some of the folks who stepped in to help.
An item addressing draining and other concerns about The Woods complex was discussed at city council’s June 16 meeting.
“What I think every member of the neighborhood wants to know, is did this development exacerbate a flood, did it make the water higher, did it make it go backwards?” said councilman, John Thomaides. “Did it make it go into places it had never gone before?” He says he’s willing to invest money looking into the issue.
However, no councilors called us back for an on-camera interview. And neighbors feel betrayed that the construction happened in the first place, and believe it was poorly planned.
“Mayor Guerrero and his councilman, thanks to them, this happened to us,” said Cesar. “If they would have listened to us and not make those apartments, I don’t think this would’ve happened to us.”
The city did tell us the study will take some time to complete.