I read with interest the editorial in the VMS on Sunday, Oct. 10. I learned that, “storms are a regular part of life on the coast.” That, “flooding in the Valley itself is not unusual.” That Valley residents, “should have sandbags to help keep water from entering their homes.” That Disaster Declarations are meant to address emergencies. And that flooding is not one but is a, “sign of improper preparation.”
I do not know who wrote this editorial and decided to blame the inhabitants of the RGV for the continued flooding rather than the decades of inaction by the politicians we elect to city and county offices, but it was a nice change of pace. Normally what I get is, “it was a 100 year or 500 year flood.” I believe I have gotten that one three years running. Now, we have a new straw man. It is global warming or climate change.
Well, I will let you in on a secret. We cannot solve the flooding problem if we keep doing the same thing. There is no way to get all the flood water to the Arroyo in time to prevent flooding. There is too much water, the system in place is too small and we keep building homes and businesses. Even if we were to redirect budget dollars from projects like golf course upgrades, park enhancements and arenas of questionable value to a majority of the county we still could not stay ahead of the need for a better drainage solution.
It is not necessary for flooding to continue. A new approach is needed. If we cannot move the flood water to the Arroyo in time to prevent flooding, then fine, keep it in place until the system can handle the load. Retention ponds are used in other places to accomplish this goal. A sizable hole (pond) is dug sometimes including a surrounding embankment. Water is then allowed to run in or is pumped in during the rain event. After the drainage system has discharged the water entering the system, water is pumped out of the retention pond and into the system.
There is no magic to this system. It is as simple as digging a hole (pond). Pump the water in during the rain. After the rain, pump the water out instead of pumping it out of our homes and businesses.
Bill DeBrooke, Harlingen