LEON VALLEY, Texas – Even before the floodwaters from Huebner Creek overtook Evers Road last night, Leon Valley fire Chief Luis Valdez said they knew to lower the floodgates to keep vehicles from being swept away.
After the 3.5 inches of rain finally stopped, Valdez said he was upset to see a driver crash into a steel-reinforced floodgate, lights and all, and then take off.
“If you see a vehicle with front-end damage and white paint all over it,” Valdez said, it was likely involved.
Valdez said Leon Valley police are investigating, but the priority now is making the necessary repairs to protect drivers along the heavily traveled roadway, as more rain is predicted for the San Antonio area.
Valdez said judging by the damage, it was no accident and it was intentional.
He said, “They didn’t bump the gate. They hit it pretty hard.”
Valdez said the gate had been secured by a heavy chain with a lock on it.
“For them to not only break the chain, but to do damage on the gates, they were going at a significant speed,” Valdez said.
And by doing so, he said, they had put lives at risk.
Valdez said Texas leads the nation in flood-related deaths. The No. 1 cause: driving through floodwaters.
He said Leon Valley has taken precautions over the years, given how prone to flooding the area is, with 300 structures in a floodplain.
Valdez said last night, a dozen people barbecuing in Raymond Rimkus Park, just off Evers Road, were cut off by floodwaters and had to be evacuated. He said another nearby floodgate also was damaged, perhaps by the same driver.