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Troubleshooters Update: Holiday Beach drainage issue

Troubleshooters: Copano Bay residents want answers after recent flooding in the area
Posted at 3:41 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 18:32:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Troubleshooters has a response from an Aransas County official about a story we reported just last week.

Some people living in Holiday Beach told us they were flooded out of their homes due to not only the near record rainfall in the Coastal Bend in mid-July, but also due to the county's inadequate drainage system.

There was still a considerable amount of rainwater standing in a Holiday Beach neighborhood near Copano Bay when residents called the Troubleshooters for help. Could we find out why the county wasn't doing something about it?

One thing they all agreed on... this is a drainage issue.

"It needs to be re-engineered where it flames out, falls out to the north, crosses 35, I guess through TxDot tunnels, and then goes out to the bay," resident Pete Champion told us.

Champion was among those forced out of his vacation home by the flooding. He described the scene to representatives from his insurance company who showed up while we were on site July 12.

"So we came down on Tuesday, and we walk in, and the water's up to here. About 6 inches. Nothing we could do. Picked up a couple things. Started making phone calls. That night it rained 8 more inches," he told them.

One name mentioned repeatedly in our conversation with residents on July 12, was Aransas County Road and Bridge Engineer David Reid. Some of the residents told us they had tried contacting Reid to do something about the poor drainage that always presents itself after heavy rainfall.

The Troubleshooters made repeated attempts to contact Reid, a county engineer, for an interview about this story. Last Friday, we walked into his office, unannounced, and finally spoke with him.

He pointed out the county's uneven topography as an underlying problem causing the drainage issue.

"That water does need to get to the bay some way or another," he told the Troubleshooters. "And it's a long way to the Bay from where they are. There's not really any creeks or rivers or things like that where water can just flow to and to out of the Bay."

Reid says he's spoken with Pete Champion about the situation. He told us help is on the way.

The county is getting five million dollars from an emergency disaster relief grant that will be used to address drainage, on top of the millions Reid says has already been spent on it.

He further told us that a drainage plan is being designed, and will be presented for bid next summer.
We'll keep following this story.