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Relief coming to far West Side homeowners living near flood-prone neighborhood

SAN ANTONIO – Relief is coming for homeowners who live with the constant threat of flooding in a far West Side neighborhood.

Crews started construction to take the neighborhood out of the flood plain.

Just a few years ago, water traveled the length of almost two football fields nearly flooding homes on Keithshire Creek.

“The ground was wet for several weeks after that,” said Desire Jemal, who lives near the flood plain with her husband and four kids.

Jemal said she still has to deal with poor drainage and was forced to replace a washed-out fence with some of the heavy rain recently. Heavy machinery will now sit across from Jemal’s home.

Bexar County on Friday began a 10-month dig on either side of the cluster of homes facing Medio Creek, a flood prevention project that has been in the works since the mid-2000s.

The two relief channels are big ditches that catch water before it reaches homes. Each one holds 4 million cubic feet of water, or the same volume as 45 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“We tried some fixes in the interim, but this is a good long-term solution and approach,” said Monica Ramos, a spokeswoman with Bexar County.

The county said the $3.6 million project will take 23 homes out of the flood plain and will make sure streets are clean during rains.

Jemal said she’s looking forward to lower insurance rates and the peace of mind.

"(The waters) have come to the back fence, but, luckily, they haven't reached the house yet," she said.