Help arrives for Socorro residents

Monica Cortez (KDBC)
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 7:32pm

Help has arrived for Socorro residents after a week of seeing their home mired in mud and dirt due to last week's storms.

As NewsChannel 9 has been reporting, many residents can't even enter their home because of the compacted soil blocking entrances, but now they are seeing many different helping hands.

"We'll be coming in tomorrow,” said Monty Fuhr from the Baptist Convention Disaster Relief. “We have some that will be coming in too, and we drove 732 miles to help. We will take out the carpet the sheetrock we will treat them for the mold do the best we can to get them back started to a normal life."

Fuhr said he has been all over the country helping people in natural disasters, but was in awe when he saw the aftermath in Socorro.

"We came from Missouri and the floods over there and before that we went to Eagle Pass, Texas,” said Fuhr. “And by far from the last two places, this has been the worst."

Residents haven't had to go this entirely alone, the El Paso county water improvement district has been helping restore dirt roads from day one, and the general manager said they had been the only ones from the county working to help Socorro.

"These are the same drains the City of El Paso uses to dispose of their storm water, the City of Socorro uses it, the County of El Paso utilizes it and these are all drains owned by the Irrigation District,” said Jesus Reyes, General Manager for the El Paso County Water Improvement District. “I had men actually working here from 7 in the morning till midnight keeping the flow going."

According to one resident, the blame can be placed on the nearby arroyos funneling the rushing runoff and carrying dirt and debris from points north of his home.

"There’s nobody here but the Irrigation District,” said Socorro resident Willie Gandara. “They are the only ones. It’s not our dirt. It doesn’t belong to Socorro. It belongs to the city of El Paso and the County of El Paso, and where's all their machinery to help all those people out?"

Early Tuesday the El Paso County Road and Bridge department sent equipment and crews to help clean and repair the roads.

Meanwhile, some workers from the El Paso County Water Improvement District said they will be out in the affected area with backhoes and other equipment helping residents get back on their feet and into their homes, all on their own time.

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