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Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 12:04am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Severe weather in the Borderland that damaged many homes has left families picking up the pieces.
The Rios family from West El Paso considered themselves lucky because they hadn't been affected by the heavy rainfall as harshly as other El Pasoans around town.
And just when the rain stopped, the damages to their newly landscaped backyard came crashing down - and now, they're working their way through the rubble.
"I was inside the house and the whole house shook like as if there was an earthquake. I was just scared and I didn't know what could have happened," said Ruben Rios.
But when he looked out the window and into his backyard, he was surprised by what he saw.
"I was lucky with the previous rains, now, since it rained so hard this week, I guess that's why this happened and it happened big," said Rios.
One of Rios' rock walls in the family's newly landscaped backyard had collapsed - but thankfully, nobody was hurt.
And while repairing it could cost several thousand dollars, one local construction company says this type of damage isn't uncommon during severe weather.
"When we have heavy rains, water erosion can even collapse houses and walls, not only walls," said Jose Frescas Sr., from Tri-Star Roofing and Construction Company.
Frescas said rock walls are a popular form of landscaping in El Paso.
But without being properly built or maintained, he said accidents like this one are likely.
"If the wall is already too damaged then it may have to be demolished and then rebuilt," said Frescas.
He also insists it's important for a rock wall to be built on a proper foundation, and to be carefully leveled, especially if on a slope.
Also, the concrete that holds the rocks together should be in good condition - not cracked, loose, or sandy.
And finally, just like any other structure, rock walls should be inspected often.
"I may say, every month, every month because of the weather, especially here in El Paso, we have all sorts of weather and even one day, in a month as well," said Frescas.
While the Rios family may have quite a bit of work ahead of them, they aren't letting the damages spoil their fun.
"We did have a cookout yesterday and we all enjoyed the view with our fallen wall, but we just have to make the best of it," said Rios.
If your home or business was one damaged by this past week's storms, and you're looking for a contractor, the Better Business Bureau encourages you to visit their website for a list of trustworthy businesses.
For more information, visit http://elpaso.bbb.org/