Neighborhood hopeful for solutions after subdivision drainage runoff damages homes

Residents claim construction causing drainage issues

SAN ANTONIO – A Northeast Side neighborhood is hopeful for less flooding issues after holding a meeting discussing drainage problems caused by a subdivision development.

“This area is prone to flooding,” District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry said. “We are in a position of having to work with the developer, community and city as a team to come up with some results.”

That development is in the Escalera Subdivision, which came into play in the Fox Run neighborhood in 2015.

The construction plans were approved, including the Transportation and Capital Improvements stormwater drainage plan. Residents said a little over two years ago, however, they were hit with a major rain, which caused major flooding in homes.

“Water came through my yard, washing out my garden,” resident Jeanmarie Traversi said. “I wanted to see if my neighbors were having trouble, and they were.”

Traversi said she began her documentation then, noting that 20 homes had been damaged because of runoff from the development.

“One poor lady got it so bad, her swimming pool was full of silt and human feces because one of their port-a-potties had blown over from the wind and dumped right into the water that was going into her swimming pool and her home. Three times she had to clean the pool out and start all over. It cost her about $7,000," Traversi said.

Traversi, who has been taking notes during every rain event, said she also speaks with the developer as well.

“They are very responsive. They would listen carefully and be real nice and try to put another fence in or whatever, but it wasn’t cutting it. There are just too many errors in the way it is designed," Traversi said.

In the meeting held Friday afternoon to discuss the issues and possible solutions, Ken Weber, the neighborhood association president, was able to collect and store images of damage caused by the development’s runoff.

“We have got some serious flooding in some of our cul-de-sac on Willow Run and Fox Creek,” Weber said. “We gathered when we first started seeing these problems with the development services, contractor and developer and had a joint meeting where they all admitted we had an issue. They did a little here and there to try to fix it, but a number of months ago, we had the same thing repeat.”

He said they had no idea the problems would be as bad as it has gotten.

“We thought the drainage was covered, but obviously it didn’t get covered. There was supposed to be what we thought some drainage culverts in between the two houses and property lines, and that would have solved the problem. But now that everything is being developed and getting locked in place, this is going to be a bit harder.”

Though the Escalera development is now facing at least one lawsuit, neighbors said they are thankful for them trying to find a solution and work with the city.

“We need to relook and take some more measurements out there to see exactly what is happening as far as the grades and the roads and the existing drainage,” Perry said. “But we know we have to come up with some sort of solution in between the houses and putting in some kind of drainage system.”

While the city, the neighborhood and the developer brainstorm on more solutions to fix the flooding problem, Escalera is urging anyone who may have experienced any water damage because of the development to call 210-536-4954.

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