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Flood control still a major priority across San Antonio

Flash flooding on Monday highlights additional need

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio taxpayers have spent millions of dollars trying to control flooding, but as rain poured down Monday it was evident there are still problem areas across parts of the city.

Director of government and public affairs for the city of San Antonio Jeff Coyle said the city has aggressively worked to improve the flooding situation.

“Over the last decade, we've invested $400 million dollars into flood control projects and that’s in addition to the $55 million or so in our annual budget,” he said.

But, he adds, the reality is there’s always going to be flood problems that cannot be controlled.

“The community wants us to invest in flood control and other infrastructure, so we're doing that at a very aggressive rate,” he adds.

Continuing coverage:

Man drives into rain-swollen creek, saved in dramatic rescue 

Flooding leads to evacuations in Leon Valley neighborhood 

Heavy rains dump 3-5 inches on San Antonio, Hill Country 

District 7 councilwoman Ana Sandoval is working to document the problem areas and to prioritize them in future project plans.

“What I heard for months on the campaign trail is ‘We need drainage relief,’” she said. “I do feel that there are some neighborhoods in the district that have not gotten the attention that they needed over the past several years and that’s what we want to bring to the forefront,” she said.

The city of Leon Valley sits in the heart of her district. It is often evacuated as a result of water runoff from the higher elevations of District 7. Sandoval is in talks with city leaders there to come up with a solution.

San Antonio leaders will release the new budget Thursday, several drainage control projects will be included. In addition taxpayers recently approved a $140 million dollar bond for 19 flood and drainage control improvements to be completed over the next five years.

The city of San Antonio, Bexar County and 19 other suburban cities have formed the Bexar County Regional Watershed Management Program to control the problem.

“People don’t often notice the flood control projects that are completed because they are doing what they are intended to do,” Coyle said. “But you notice the ones that are still a problem.”

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