Smelly, flooded drainage ditch has some Houston neighbors worried

Tom Abrahams Image
Monday, July 6, 2015
Flooded ditches worry residents
They've asked the city for help to clear a flooded drainage ditch that is causing a smelly mess.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Norma Gonzales worries every time it rains.

"When it rains, it comes onto the street," she said while standing in front of her Carby Road home. "It's like a river, coming into the house and it's backed up. I'm having to move cars. I'm having to move furniture. I'm thinking that I'm going to get flooded."

Running along her street, for more than a half mile, is a clogged drainage ditch. It's full of water, debris, bugs, and even swamp life.

"It smells. It smells like the sewage," she said.

According to Gonzales and others, it's been like this since May.

Neighbor James White has lived in the area for 30 years. He's fed up.

"I think it sucks," he said.

The water's gotten into his garage and he wants the ditch fixed.

"They're clogged. They won't come clean them out. The water lasts four or five or six days. People come through here. They don't slow down. Whoosh! Come through here and the water comes into the yards."

We found five open complaints about this disgusting spot on the city's 311 website. Two of them are form Norma Gonzales, who recorded video the last time there was just a little bit of rain.

We called the city's public works department after seeing a work truck drive by and they told us for much of the day that they're working to resolve it.

No doubt, the City of Houston has its hands full.

In March, there were fewer than 1,000 drainage repair requests listed with 311. April saw another 100, as did May. But in June, the number of drainage requests spiked to nearly 1,500 requests -- a 50 percent jump in just four months.

But it's the one on Norma Gonzlaes' street, the one that's leaking into a park and is near a school, that has her looking for action.

And late Monday, we may have found it. The City of Houston tells Eyewitness News the Harris County Flood Control District is aware of the issue and is investigating it. It is conducting a "flow line" survey to determine wherein the problem lies. Then, the HCFCD will fix it. They, however, have not given us a timeline yet.