Around 50 people rescued in San Marcos flooding

Flooded Highway 123 & I-35 frontage road in San Marcos. April 11, 2017 (Courtesy/Mayra Esquivel)
Flooded Highway 123 & I-35 frontage road in San Marcos. April 11, 2017 (Courtesy/Mayra Esquivel)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The city of San Marcos says at least 50 people had to be rescued in floodwaters Tuesday.

The impact of the flooding went beyond water rescues and road closures, it also left behind some significant damage to homes.

Reports of blocked drainage systems across the city have some people wondering whether new development and construction projects are making matters worse.

Franklin Lee, Sr., has lived in his home on Valley Street his entire life. “This time here it was worse than ever, because every room in the house got wet.”

He spent the day sweeping out the mess left behind after Tuesday’s storms, concerned insurance may not cover the damage. “This is still in that flood zone, so I don’t know what’s gonna happen here.”

Exacerbating the flooding, a dumpster blocked the drainage ditch outside Lee’s home. Rising water levels filled the drain fast, leaving the water with nowhere to go but inside.

San Marcos city leaders say it’s an ongoing concern with new developments in the area.

“We have large trash containers that are not secured, so that when it floods, obviously the drain sucks these large trash barrels into them. And then it clogs the drainage and it causes more flooding.” Melissa Derrick, City Council Place 6, said. “We’re in a flash flood alley and we all know that. It’s a huge concern here. It’s one of our largest battles.”

Lee says he can only hope something will be done to fix the problem. “If they do something about the drain, and have that runoff on these two sides, then that will stop it.”

The council member said, “We’re trying very hard to fix things, but it’s going to take a minute.”

According to San Marcos city ordinance, dumpsters must be “firmly anchored to prevent flotation” in the event of flooding. The ordinance was implemented in response to the most recent round of storms last May.

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