SEELEY — Diana Ortiz has lived here for eight years. During the course of her eight-year stay, the 20-year-old has become accustomed to the inundated roads after a heavy rainfall — heavy for the Imperial Valley, that is.
On July 13, certain parts of the Valley experienced between 1 inch and 2 inches of rain in about a one-hour time frame, according to Imperial County officials.
Despite Ortiz’s acclimation to the problem, she said it would be nice if something were done to help the small town.
“They tried to fix the roads awhile back and install sidewalks,” Ortiz said. “But then they stopped and only did one side of the road.”
While the flooded areas are a nuisance to get around, other Seeley residents felt the same as Ortiz and adjusted to the flooded roads accordingly.
“It is what it is,” said Mike Stewart. “The good thing is, it doesn’t happen too often and they’re getting good about clearing the streets afterward.”
Although it takes days to clear an hour’s rainfall, county officials have no immediate plans to develop a system that would help expel storm water.
“We’ve tried to get money to build a storm-water system, but we always get turned down,” county Public Works Director Bill Brunet said. “It just doesn’t rain continually to the point where we would receive money.”
Despite the amount of damage a 2-inch rainfall can cause, the Valley is continually turned down for grants because the costs would out way the benefits.
“Storm water systems are some of the most expensive to build,” Brunet explained. “We have received some money to help when it rains, but it’s more for preventative measures.”
The systems that are in place are equipped to handle a yearly, not hourly 3-inch rainfall, Brunet said.
“Storms like (last) Friday’s happen every 50 years or so,” Brunet said. “With no funding and a limited budget, we can’t build a storm-water system.”
Staff Writer Karina Lopez may be reached at email@example.com
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