Socorro Residents Sue City Over Summer Flooding

Contact:
Alberto Mesta, Attorney * 915-585-5117 * amesta@trla.org
Cynthia Martinez, Communications Director * 512-374-2764 * cmartinez@trla.org

SOCORRO, Texas – December 11, 2013 – Thirty Socorro residents have filed a lawsuit against the City of Socorro alleging that their homes were intentionally flooded and suffered serious damage after heavy rains hit the area this summer.

Represented by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the residents argue that structures built to prevent flooding in the affluent Valley Ridge Subdivision redirected torrential rains to older homes in the area. As a result, after a period of heavy rain this summer, their homes experienced unprecedented flooding that caused structural and environmental damage, created various health hazards, and forced many residents from their homes.

“The city made the decision to protect affluent homes, but did so at the expense of others,” said TRLA attorney Alberto Mesta. “Our clients no longer live in a neighborhood – they live in a water reservoir.”

Several of the residents have lived in the area for more than thirty years and have never experienced the degree of flooding witnessed this summer. According to the lawsuit, many of the residents contacted city officials to express concerns that heavy rains would flood their homes, but were ignored.

The residents believe that as long as structures continue to direct water towards their neighborhood, their homes will continue to flood during periods of heavy rain. Citing a lack of city leadership on the issue, the residents are issuing a plea to El Paso County officials to step in where the city has failed by prioritizing the implementation of a flood plan currently under consideration.

Added Mesta, “The city has turned a blind eye to these residents. County officials should make it a priority to avoid having this happen again.”

A copy of the lawsuit and supporting documents can be downloaded at www.trla.org/press/socorro.

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services. For more information on TRLA, visit us online at www.trla.org.

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