Thunderstorm prompts Santa Fe officials to face flooding problems

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SANTA FE, TX (KTRK) -- The town of Santa Fe took on several inches of rain from a thunderstorm that lingered through the night, and it still has the flooded yards to prove it.

No homes were flooded, but the low-lying land was, including the town's biggest draw, the Haak Winery. Behind the store and tasting room, the small vineyard had ponds of water, and for grapevines that require dry, sandy soil, the conditions are not ideal.

Neither is it ideal for weddings, and the winery has several scheduled for this weekend. The ceremonies will go on, but strolls outside may be a bit muddy.

William Bischof has bigger concerns. His fish pond was overtaken by the floodwater, taking his fish with it. He expects to find a lot of them on dry land by the time the water recedes.

It is not the first time his land has flooded, but it's the increasing regularity that has him stressed.

"We haven't flooded like this in some hurricanes. Something's wrong here," he said.

Bischof says he's called Galveston County repeatedly, suggesting a drainage canal that carries water from ditches be dredged.

A county commissioner blames development in communities that sit on higher land creating runoff that finds its way to Santa Fe. He says he plans to meet with the drainage district next week to discuss the problem, and says there are several plans that may address the flooding.

For now, it's not helping people who have to slog through submerged yards. Bischof says it hasn't helped his fish, either.